Jonathan Darby provides a summary of recent changes that affected the Community Infrastructure Levy.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) (Amendment) Regulations 2014 came into force on 24 February 2014 and are likely to be welcomed by developers.
Updated Statutory Guidance to which Charging Authorities must have regard accompanies the revised regulations.
Some of the notable amendments to the regime include:
- An expansion in the “phasing” provisions (the calculation and payment of CIL in phases to match the development) to enable full planning permissions to benefit to the same extent as outline permission.
- Those who intend to occupy the dwelling as their sole or main residence for three years from the date of completion will benefit from new mandatory exemptions that have been introduced for self-build housing, residential annexes and extensions (note that these exemptions are subject to “claw-back” provisions).
- The social housing relief criteria has been amended and now includes a provision that enables discount market sale housing to be developed free from CIL liability. The social housing relief provisions are, however, discretionary and dependent upon the relevant charging authority.
- Charging authorities are now able to set differential rates. Such rates may be based upon criteria such as the intended floor-space or the intended number of units.
- The previous rules under which CIL liability could be discharged through land provision have been extended to enable charging authorities to accept payments in kind through the provision of infrastructure both on and off site.
- An apparently greater emphasis on charging authorities to prepare viability evidence to justify CIL rates in order to strike a balance between the desirability of funding infrastructure and the viability of developments. Furthermore, developers can now claim relief from liability where full payment of CIL would render permitted schemes economically unviable.
- The proposed restrictions on local authorities’ powers to seek financial contributions through the use of section 106 agreements will now not come into force until April 2015.
- The “vacancy test” has been amended (buildings which have been in use for six continuous months out of the last three years will now be discounted from CIL liability).