Agenda item

CIL Update - 13 October 2021


The Planning Contributions Officer delivered a presentation to update members on the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) adopted by the Council on 7 October 2019 and reminded members that the levy is a charge applied to certain types of development to help fund infrastructure across the Borough, as set out in the Council’s published Infrastructure List.


The Planning Contributions Officer provided a recap and explained the levy is intended to address the cumulative effect of development across the Borough. CIL is a fixed-rate charge based on floor space and is charged on retail and residential developments at rates set out in the published Charging Schedule. The adoption of CIL was supported by infrastructure evidence, financial viability evidence alongside Local Plan Part 2.


The Planning Contributions Officer provided a CIL funding overview, explaining that a consultation had been undertaken with key providers of infrastructure types to determine CIL spend priorities, the next step being for officers to assess the identified projects against a Framework Appraisal document and report back to Cabinet to agree a spending programme. Members were advised that the CIL collected to date amounts to £1.1m.


The infrastructure list is as follows:


·       Secondary school places across the Borough through new provision or extension to existing provision

·       Park and Ride along the A52 corridor and bus priority measures in West Bridgford

·       Indoor leisure provision or improvements to existing provision

·       Health facilities across the Borough through new provision or extension to existing provision

·       Playing pitches and ancillary facilities provision or improvements


The Planning Contributions Officer highlighted the main criteria and considerations of the Framework Appraisal document including:


·       Justification – why the project is required, demonstrating need, suitability and due regard to alternatives

·       Strategic Benefits – links to existing and emerging plans/strategies and Corporate objectives

·       Funding – Amount of CIL required/requested, cost of project, other available funding sources

·       Deliverability – approvals/consents required, timescales and potential impediments to delivery


The Planning Contributions Officer continued to explain the Neighbourhood proportions of CIL funds informing members that under the CIL regulation 59A, the Borough Council has to pass a proportion of levy receipts to the Town and Parish Councils, at 15%capped, or 25% where covered by a Neighbourhood Plan. However, the Planning Contributions Officer added that there is a desire to make an additional proportion of the strategic CIL available to areas with no neighbourhood Plan, to provide a consistent level of local funding across the Borough. Members noted that the Neighbourhood proportion is not limited to items within the Infrastructure list and can be spent on a wider range of projects, provided they address the demands that a new development places on that area.


The Planning Contributions Officer advised members of the legislative restrictions and that the Borough Council will be directly responsible for the allocation of Strategic CIL that is made available to Town and Parish Council’s. Town and Parish Council’s will be required to submit bids for any additional funding through a formal process and such requests need to fall within the narrower definition of infrastructure, and be towards items on the Borough Council’s Infrastructure List. In addition, members were advised that any change to the Infrastructure List would need to carefully considered in how it might impact on strategic delivery.


The Chairman asked a specific question relating to the charging structure for collecting CIL funds and whether any of the CIL collected had been spent. The Planning Contributions Officer explained that the levies are set in zones highest zone £100 per m2 lowest £0 and are determined by the viability of the sites to deliver, any funding gaps and how much we can collect through CIL. The Principal Policy Planner added, that when CIL was introduced a viability exercise was completed which looked at the local plan infrastructure delivery plan and standard assumptions using local information, such as affordable housing, legal fees, house sales and land values, these were then examined by an independent examiner before being adopted by Council 2 years ago.


Members questioned why the government were encouraging Towns and Parishes to produce Neighbourhood Plans and what impact this may have on major projects on the Infrastructure List, such as health. The Planning Contributions Officer explained that it was important to take into consideration the framework process and the extra element of CIL made accessible to non-Neighbourhood Plan parishes and that CIL is not to be the sole reason for developing a Neighbourhood Plan, adding that producing a Neighbourhood Plan can be costly.


Members asked specific questions relating to how much income from CIL funding can the Council expect to receive over the next 5 years and whether the funding will cover the strategic programme. The Planning Contributions Officer explained that CIL funding was difficult to predict and cannot be guaranteed until developments have commenced, adding that the spend programme priorities initially looks at short term projects, as there is no appetite to realistically commit to the medium to long projects at the current time. In addition, the Service Manager – Planning explained that it is important to recognise that CIL will not pay for all projects 100%, CIL is to be used as a top up where there are funding gaps.


The Chairman highlighted the changes to parish boundaries and whether this would have any effect or changes to the CIL charging structure. The  Principal Policy Planner explained that the charges are set based on the original ward boundaries and that the charging structure does not necessarily link to parish boundaries and is applied at the point when it is collected. The Planning Contribution Officer added, that there maybe a desire to review the charging at some point in the future and in particular if the demographics of an area changes.


Members questioned the arrangements for West Bridgford as this has neither a Town or Parish Council or a Neighbourhood Plan. The Service Manager – Planning advised that West Bridgford is covered by a different element of CIL and the process is different and controlled by the Borough Council with consideration by members through the Special Expenses Group.


The Chairman expressed his concerns about the complexity of the framework document and in particular regarding Parish Council’s and Parish Meetings. The Planning Contributions Officer advised that a guidance document will be made available for Parishes in the next month, when the next round of CIL payments are due. Members suggested that an additional recommendation be added to take into consideration Parish Council’s and Parish meetings given the complexity of the framework.


It was RESOLVED that the Growth and Development Scrutiny Group:


a)    Support the referral of the CIL allocation and spend process to Cabinet;


b)    Support a recommendation to cabinet to make additional amount of Strategic CIL available to areas without a Neighbourhood Plan, and;


c)     Recommend the production of a guidance document for Parish Council’s and Parish Meetings to assist in understanding the CIL procedure, and;


d)    Recommend the process to help inform the production of the framework document.



Supporting documents: