Don't be CIL'ly!

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on new developments - what you should know

With almost all local authorities in our region charging Community Infrastructure Levy on new development it seems timely to look at what is happening in each local authority and what common developments might end up facing an additional charge on top of the build costs.

Community Infrastructure Levy is a charge made upon certain new developments it is designed as a tool to help local authorities provide infrastructure that is needed to support development in their area.

Local authorities set out what sort of development will be subject to charges in their draft charging schedules which are subject to consultation. The final charging schedule will also be subject to consultation before being formally adopted. Once the charging schedule is adopted development classed as chargeable will be subject to paying CIL unless they are exempt.

There are just five types of development that will not be subject to the charge:

  • development of less than 100 square metres, unless this consists of one or more dwelling and does not meet the self-build criteria
  • buildings into which people do not normally go;
  • buildings into which people go only intermittently for the purpose of inspecting or maintaining fixed plant or machinery;
  • structures which are not buildings, such as pylons and wind turbines;
  • specified types of development which local authorities have decided should be subject to a ‘zero’ rate and specified as such in their charging schedules.

It is important to read the charging schedule carefully as the wording varies from authority to authority and we have only summarised the contents of each in the tables below. It can be easy to fall foul of CIL in this way. Be especially wary of charging schedules that do not zero-rate agricultural buildings or forms of development not specifically listed as this can see your grain store or other agricultural shed subjected to an additional and not insignificant payment. Arguments that such structures are buildings that people don’t routinely go into have not always been successful. Also be aware that unless specifically zero rated tied dwellings for rural workers can also be caught by the levy.

There are also exemptions that can be claimed in certain situations. The most common one is for self-build projects. However it is vital that a commencement notice is served prior to starting the build otherwise you could find yourself having to pay a surcharge equivalent to 20% of the chargeable amount or £2500 whichever is the higher. Prior to 2019 failure to serve a commencement notice on the council could see you lose the relief altogether.

The circumstances in which an appeal can be made against a CIL charge are extremely limited with strictly defined time limits so it is far better to understand what your liability might be and factor this into your project costs before getting too far down the line and facing an unexpected charge.

The tables below briefly summarise the current situation (August 2021) for each local authority in the region but members should take their own professional advice before going ahead with new development. If you'd like to speak with the member of the team about this, please give us a call on 01249 700200


Key contact:

Claire Wright (9).jpg
Claire Wright National Access Adviser, London