CLA Wales is urging Welsh local authorities who are introducing a controversial new tax to think again for rural dwellings
As preliminary charging schedules for the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - a charge on new rural retail commercial and agricultural tied dwellings – are published in both Caerphilly and Rhondda Cynon Taff, CLA Wales warns that the potential impacts in rural areas need careful consideration.
CLA Rural Surveyor Charles de Winton comments: "CIL is intended to be a pro-growth tool. But we are seeing draft charging schedules that are imposing urban-focussed CIL charges on new development in rural areas. It would be ironic if CIL charges had the effect of making the already dire development climate even more difficult with the obvious knock-on effects for the Government's growth and housing agendas.
"We are very concerned that agricultural, horticultural and forestry developments, and small scale rural developments are being swept up with urban-focussed development charges. Clearly, this would be to the detriment of the rural economy as a whole as these charges would stop critically needed development in the countryside."
Mr de Winton continues: "This will further undermine the sustainability of Wales's rural economy by limiting job prospects, decreasing the availability of affordable rural housing and jeopardising the goods and services - both environmental and food related - that are delivered by CLA members."
"We strongly urge the Authorities to consider the use of different rates for rural areas if the charging schedule is not to prevent critically needed rural development from coming forward.
Parts of England have already successfully argued for a Nil charge to the Agricultural Occupancy Condition which is considered separately based on a suitable viability assessment. CLA Wales would like to secure the same.