Council to continue to press for garden village CIL charge

A Warwickshire council has resolved to continue to recommend a £75 per square metre Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charge for residential development at a prospective garden village, despite a consultancy's report recommending that the site should be zero-rated for CIL.

Long Marston airfield (picture by Philip Halling, Geograph)
Long Marston airfield (picture by Philip Halling, Geograph)

A meeting of Stratford-on-Avon District Council’s cabinet this week resolved that a CIL charge was achievable for development at the Long Marston Airfield.

The council, in partnership with developer CALA, has submitted an expression of interest to the government seeking support for a 3,500-home garden village at the former RAF base. The related business case assumed that almost £14 million of CIL would be payable on the development, according to council papers.

This week’s cabinet meeting considered additional "sensitivity work" requested by examiner Rebecca Phillips, who held an examination hearing in September.

According to a report to the cabinet, the additional sensitivity work, set out in a study by consultants Peter Brett Associates, concluded that Long Marston Airfield "should be zero-rated for CIL".

A council statement said that the consultants’ report had given regard to the sale values of nearby Meon Vale (Long Marston Depot), which are 20 per cent lower than those achieved elsewhere in the local area at established locations.

However, it said that Meon Vale is an "emerging development and currently has weaker values, but by its very nature, Long Marston Airfield has been planned as and will become a free-standing new community and when built the equivalent of a Main Rural Centre and sale values will reflect these key differences".

"The council does not agree that it is appropriate to assume lower values will be achieved at Long Marston Airfield than elsewhere in the central area," the report said.

Speaking ahead of the cabinet meeting, Chris Saint, leader of the council, said: "While the consultants’ report is sound, the council should challenge the planning inspector's rationale that will inevitably reduce the CIL payable by developers."

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