CIL Watch: Rural business group calls for removal of levy charges on new farm buildings

A lobby group representing rural landowners and businesses has called for the removal of community infrastructure levy (CIL) charges on all new farm buildings, a move that it says will boost economic growth in rural areas.

CIL charges have to be funded by farmers says the CLA (pic: Getty)
CIL charges have to be funded by farmers says the CLA (pic: Getty)

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA), which says it represents 30,000 rural businesses in England and Wales, has published a policy report citing “anecdotal evidence” that CIL charges have stopped new farm development from taking place.

According to the report, Rural powerhouse: a planning system designed for the rural economy, applying the levy to the development of new farm buildings means that “substantial” CIL charges have to be funded by farmers and repaid over years.

CLA president Mark Bridgeman told Planning: “We are concerned that any CIL charge on new farm buildings will impact on farm productivity.

"Even today, the CIL charge is deterring farmers from applying for planning permission to erect new farm buildings. Given the uncertainty ahead in the wake of both COVID-19 and Brexit, there is little doubt that the charge will be an additional burden on fluctuating farm incomes.

“Most new agricultural buildings are developed within an existing farming business, either to allow the business to grow or to replace out-dated structures with more efficient modern buildings for reasons of animal welfare or food safety.

"Agricultural buildings are often relatively large in area, but they are of low value and low impact, so any CIL charge has a disproportionate effect which can deter investment."

Among its other recommendations, the report calls for the government to better resource and to simplify the planning system in England, including reducing the "burden" of surveys required to support applications. The CLA also wants a "comprehensive review of green belt planning policy".



Oxfordshire: West Oxfordshire Council published its CIL draft charging schedule for consultation between 10 July 2020 and 21 August 2020.


North Yorkshire: Harrogate Borough Council adopted its CIL charging schedule on 8 July 2020. Implementation of the levy begins from 1 October 2020.



London: Spitalfields Planning Forum has completed its draft neighbourhood plan for consultation. It is open to comments until September 14 2020.


Hertfordshire: The Eastwick and Gilston and Hunsdon neighbourhood development plan has been submitted to East Hertfordshire District Council. Consultation will take place between 21 July and 15 September 2020.


Kent: The Marden neighbourhood development plan was made part of Maidstone Borough Council's local development framework on 15 July 2020 and will inform the development of the village up to 2031.

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