CIL trailblazer begins consultation on new charges

The first council in England and Wales to start charging the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is consulting on revisions to its charging schedule, including reduced rates for apartments a simplified set of charging zones.

New homes: apartments would be exempt from levy in revised charging schedule
New homes: apartments would be exempt from levy in revised charging schedule

Newark and Sherwood District Council in Nottinghamshire became the first authority to start charging CIL in December 2011.

Last week, the authority began a consultation on a new preliminary draft charging schedule. The council aims to introduce its revised CIL charges by spring 2017, according to the consultation document. It says that the proposals would "reduce and simplify the zone for both residential and commercial use".

Newark and Sherwood District Council's adopted CIL currently has six charging zones for residential development, with charges ranging from zero to £75 per square metre. The revisions being consulted on would reduce these to four charging zones, with new charges ranging from £0 to £100 per square metre. Apartments would not face a charge in any of the four proposed charging zones.

A viability assessment report to the council had found that the "viability of apartment developnt in all but the highest value area of the district is challenging under current economic conditions".

The council's new CIL proposals would also replace the authority's existing seven charging zones for commercial development, which have charges of £100 or £125 per square metre, with a single district-wide zone.

The consultation document proposes a single charge of £100 per square metre for retail use classes A1 to A5. All other types of development would be exempt from the levy.

A separate viability report carried out for the council had concluded that there is not "sufficient ‘fine grained’ evidence to warrant a subdivision into separate CIL charging zones for commercial property".

"Inevitably the overall lack of tangible quality new build market evidence would mean an arbitrary decision is required as to where boundaries should be drawn which may not be defendable at examination."

The consultation closes on 9 December.

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