CIL Watch: Report highlights over £443 million of unspent CIL cash

Over £443 million of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) receipts have remained unspent by local authorities over the past three and a half years, according to a report.

Cash: Report highlights over £433 million of unspent CIL receipts
Cash: Report highlights over £433 million of unspent CIL receipts

The report by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), published at the end of October, found that when split across councils collecting CIL, the average amount of money unspent per council is £2.9 million. "On a local council or authority level, this is a significant amount for the development of infrastructure," it says.

On average, the study found that English and Welsh councils have failed to spend almost 40 per cent of the CIL receipts they have collected, while only 43 per cent of councils have introduced a CIL since the power to do so was introduced in 2010.

The highest percentage of CIL monies remaining unspent is in the North East and Wales, the report finds, with the lowest percentage in the North West and Yorkshire and Humberside. 

Specific projects the CIL is used for can "vary widely", the report says, ranging from strategic projects down to local schemes. Wycombe District Council has spent £450,000 on "creating secondary school places over the course of this year, with the same amount again planned for next year, all funded through CIL," the report notes, while Redbridge Council has used CIL to "purchase an £800 boat as part of a pond conservation programme".

Last August, a Planning investigation found that councils had collected tens of millions of pounds in CIL receipts since the levy was introduced, but spent an average of just 16 per cent on infrastructure.

CIL UPDATES 

ADOPTION NEWS

Gloucestershire: Cheltenham Borough Council adopted its CIL charging schedule at a full council meeting on 15 October. The council adopted the schedule after receiving the examiner’s report on the schedules proposed by Cheltenham, Gloucester and Tewkesbury councils in July. The adoption means all three authorities will now start charging in January.

Surrey: Waverley Borough Council adopted its CIL charging schedule on 31 October. The council adopted the schedule after examiner Philip Staddon’s report concluded that the schedule provides an appropriate basis for collecting the levy in the area.

EXAMINATION NEWS

Tyne and Wear: North Tyneside Council’s CIL charging schedule has been approved by examiner David Spencer. Spencer’s report, received by the council on 15 October, concludes that the charging schedule provides an appropriate basis for the collection of the levy in the borough. The schedule proposes a charge of up to £25 per sq m for housing developments.

CONSULTATION NEWS

Dorset: Poole Borough Council is carrying out consultation on modifications to its draft charging schedule. The modifications, which are out to consultation until 26 November, incorporate a new set of rates which have been subject to latest viability testing. The schedule is currently going through examination, and the latest changes include proposed rates of up to £230 per sq m for new homes.

Essex: Basildon Borough Council is carrying out consultation on its preliminary draft charging schedule. The draft schedule, which is out to consultation until 17 December, proposes rates of up to £350 per sq m for housing development.

Buckinghamshire: Chiltern and South Bucks District Councils are carrying out consultation on a joint preliminary draft charging schedule. The draft schedule, which is out to consultation until 14 December, proposes a rates of £150 per sq m for new homes  developments.


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