CIL Watch #31: Southampton CIL approved; Exeter hits stumbling block

The latest CIL Watch update looks at progress made by councils in the South West in drawing up CIL proposals and includes examination news from Southampton and Exeter, as well as the lowdown on new charging schedules from Chesterfield, Harrogate, Bolton and Trafford.

Examination news…

Southampton City Council’s CIL plans have been approved by examiner Nigel Payne. But the examiner’s report recommended that the council cut its rate for residential development by a fifth, from £90 per square metre to £70 per square metre. Payne’s report said that the "evidence shows that the rate proposed for new residential development, including new student housing, is too high and would pose a significant threat to the viability of housing schemes in the city and thus to the delivery of the adopted core strategy".

Elsewhere, Exeter City Council’s CIL examination has hit a stumbling block, after examiner Jill Kingaby asked the authority to look again at its proposals due to concerns that the tariff could compromise the delivery of affordable homes. The council’s proposed charge of £80 per square metre for residential development has been calculated on an assumption of 25 per cent affordable housing delivery, which is lower than the goal in the authority’s adopted core strategy, which calls for 35 per cent. An affordable housing supplementary planning document, adopted earlier this year by the council, says that, for the present, the authority will accept the provision of 25 per cent affordable housing. But in a note, the examiner said it would "not be appropriate" for her to accept a CIL rate based on the SPD rather than the adopted core strategy. In February, examiner David Hogger rejected Mid Devon District Council’s decision to calculate its CIL rate for residential developments by assuming a lower level of affordable housing provision than the target set out in its core strategy.

New charging schedules…

Harrogate Borough Council is consulting on its preliminary draft charging schedule until 21 June. The document proposes residential charges of £45 per square metre for developments in Ripon City and £85 per square metre for the rest of the district, excluding Ripon City. Consultancy Roger Tym and Partners prepared an economic viability assessment for the authority.

Chesterfield Borough Council in Derbyshire is consulting on its preliminary draft charging schedule from 3 June until 15 July. The document proposes four charging zones for residential development, with charges of between £0 and £80 per square metre. The Nationwide CIL Service – a partnership between HEB Chartered Surveyors and Newark and Sherwood District Council – produced an affordable housing and viability assessment for the council.

Bolton and Trafford borough councils in Greater Manchester are both consulting on their draft charging schedules until 24 June. Both have proposed amended rates for retail development.

Bolton Council’s draft charging schedule proposes a borough-wide charge of £135 per square metre for supermarkets and a rate of £45 per square metre for retail warehouses. The council’s preliminary draft charging schedule, consulted on last autumn, had proposed differential rates for different geographical zones. It had proposed a rate of £5 per square metre for retail developments in Bolton town centre and charges of £150 per square metre for convenience retail and £50 per square metre for comparison retail elsewhere in the borough.

Trafford Council, meanwhile, has reduced its proposed retail rates. Its preliminary draft charging schedule proposed a rate of £250 per square metre for convenience retail above 280 square metres outside defined centres. But its draft charging schedule proposes a rate of £225 per square metre for supermarkets.

Coming soon…

East Devon District Council will shortly embark on a second round of CIL consultation – it is due to begin consulting on its draft charging schedule on 14 June. According to a report to be considered by the council’s development management committee on 11 June, key changes compared to the preliminary draft charging schedule include an increase in the rate for Cranbrook expansion areas to £68 per square metre, and a decision to no longer differentiate retail CIL charges by use (there is now a flat £150 rate for all retail outside of town centre shopping areas).

Other news…

A Department for Communities and Local Government consultation on changes to CIL closed on 28 May. The consultation proposed pushing back the deadline after which the use of section 106 agreements will be scaled back from April 2014 to April 2015, giving councils an extra year to get their CIL charging schedules in place. It also proposed measures to make it easier for developers to both apply for exceptional relief and to pay the levy in phases, as well as by providing infrastructure instead of land or cash. Charging authorities would also be required to strike an appropriate balance between the desirability of funding infrastructure from the levy and the potential effects of the levy on the economic viability of development across the area, under the proposals.

In their responses to the consultation, property industry lobby group the British Property Federation and business group London First both said that councils should be given until April 2016 before the use of section 106 agreements is scaled back.

Focus on… the South West

The map below – which displays data compiled by Planning’s CIL Watch blog – shows how far advanced councils are with their CIL preparation in the South West.

Councils shaded in green are already charging CIL, those shaded yellow have reached the examination stage, ones shaded orange have published draft charging schedules and authorities shaded red have published preliminary draft charging schedules for consultation. Councils shaded grey have yet to publish CIL plans for consultation.  To view our full online interactive map of proposed CIL rates across England and Wales, click here. The full map shows that, while coverage in the South West may still look patchy, it is one of the most far advanced regions in England and Wales in terms of CIL preparation. Please use the contact details at the foot of this blog to notify us of any updates.

The pie chart shows that more than half of the councils in the South West have now published CIL plans for consultation. Two – Poole and Bristol – are already charging, and a further three are at examination stage (Exeter, Plymouth and Mid Devon).

Next time round, we’ll take a look at CIL progress in another region. Please get in touch (contact details below) if you’d like your region to feature.

NEW – View our full interactive map of proposed CIL rates across England and Wales here.

UPDATED – Who’s charging what? Our table of the CIL charges that have been published to date – now arranged by region – is available here.

To tell us your CIL news, contact jamie.carpenter@haymarket.com. For CIL updates, follow Jamie on Twitter at @J_J_Carpenter.



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