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Ground-breaking levy scheme approved

Newark and Sherwood District Council in Nottinghamshire is set become the first planning authority in England to introduce a charge on development to help pay for vital community facilities. Its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) proposals have been approved by an independent planning inspector with one minor modification.

His report will be considered by the council this month (September) but the charging schedule is unlikely to come into effect until December.

CIL will be chargeable on the net increase in floor space and charges depend on the type and location of development. Retail developments will be charged £125 per sq m in the Newark urban area while residential rates will vary from £0 to a maximum of £75 per sq m, depending on location across the planning authority.

The charges collected by the council may be used to fund new infrastructure directly or may be redistributed to the appropriate delivery organisations.

The money raised, an estimated £35m over the next 15 years towards identified funding deficits, will be used to fund district-wide infrastructure that cannot necessarily be attributed to individual development sites, such as rural highway improvements and a new secondary school in Newark.

The council now hopes to help other authorities by offering a full consultancy service, covering all aspects of CIL adoption from inception to examination.

Adrian Kerison, the council’s growth point manager, said: “We are delighted with the inspector’s report. It represents the successful culmination of over a year’s work and it is gratifying that the methodology we have devised to underpin our CIL system has proved to be compliant with the regulations and statutory guidance.

“We now intend to share our experience with other authorities and offer a ‘one stop shop’ consultancy service in partnership with HEB Chartered Surveyors and Gleeds cost consultants.”

It is anticipated that the CIL will be reviewed every three years, in addition to the publication of annual financial monitoring reports, required by the CIL regulations.

Read more about the Newark and Sherwood District Council CIL.

Roger Milne

1 September 2011