CLA urges local authorities to consider rural areas before opting for the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

10 November 2013

"Additional taxes on new development by local authorities serve only to stop growth and stagnate economies," claims CLA Director Ben Underwood, referring to the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which could soon be a reality in Wales.

"At a time when we are trying to stimulate rural growth and increase housing supply, we are incensed that local authorises are in the process of placing significant charges on new development under a new scheme called Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).


"As we continue to highlight the barriers affecting rural growth it is of grave concern that additional taxes are being introduced which only serve to stop development and diversification in rural areas rather than encourage it.


"Caerphilly County Borough Council is one of the first local authorities in Wales to publish a draft charging strategy. It shows that levies on development could be five times higher than the average raised through the existing Section 106 agreements.  The charging schedule is imposing an urban-focussed CIL charge on new development in rural areas.


"The CLA has analysed a number of CIL front-runners' viability assessments and preliminary charging schedules and we are very concerned that agricultural, horticultural and forestry developments and small scale rural development are being swept up with urban focussed development charges.


"Raising additional funds for new infrastructure is of course good news but there has to be a balance between securing additional investment to support development and the potential negative economic effect that the CIL could have.


"Each local authority will have the option to charge a CIL. The CLA is sending out a strong message that buildings erected for agricultural and horticultural purposes or for forestry purposes are not buildings into which people normally go which is a proposed exemption from the charge. We would like to therefore see them exempted, or at the very least zero-rated, in forthcoming draft and adopted charging schedules across Wales."


The CLA is calling for CIL charging schedules to make an allowance for new housing where it is required to enable agricultural, forestry and certain other full-time workers to live at or in the immediate vicinity of their work. This is crucial to the operation of land-based businesses.