Consultation launched over revised charges for new developments

A public consultation has been launched over a revised charging schedule for new developments in East Devon. The Community Infrastructure Levy is what delivers the infrastructure to support new building projects.

East Devon District Council will run the consultation until October 2, having launched the exercise on August 21.

The councils Strategic Planning Committee approved the consultation over plans to impose revised charges on new developments.

Since September 2016, the council has been charging a levy (CIL) on new residential and retail developments once they have received approval. But the council is now proposing to revise the rates to ‘reflect the emerging Cranbrook Plan and latest government policy and evidence’.

“When setting rates, a balance must be struck between obtaining money from CIL to fund new infrastructure, and the effects of the charge on the viability of new development,” says the authority. “In general, it is proposed to increase the rate of CIL, but set it at a level that should enable new developments to come forward.”

It is proposed that development at Cranbrook does not pay CIL, as the use of Section 106 contributions rather than CIL enables infrastructure to be delivered by the developers more quickly and at a lower cost. This has been made possible by recent government changes to legislation, which have removed restrictions on the use of Section 106 agreements.

A Section 106 (also known as ‘developer contributions’) is a legal agreement between a developer (applicant) and the council, which requires them to deliver infrastructure such as schools, open spaces and community buildings, to mitigate the impact of new homes on the local community and infrastructure.

Following consultation on the Draft Charging Schedule, the relevant documents and consultation responses will be sent to an independent examiner who will carry out an examination of the CIL rates from late 2019 into the early part of 2020.

After approval from the examiner, it is envisaged that the council will start charging the new rates around spring 2020.

The council allows developers to pay their CIL in instalments, to help with the viability and delivery of development. A revised instalment policy was also approved at the committee meeting, which will mean that smaller sums are paid more quickly, while still allowing larger sums a longer period of time in which to be paid.

The council says: “This revised policy reflects more realistically the economic reality of delivering development and will reduce administration for the council and developers. It will also ensure that the council receives CIL from smaller schemes more quickly, aiding infrastructure delivery.”

Councillor Susie Bond, the chair of Strategic Planning Committee, said: “Following a unanimous decision made by the Strategic Planning Committee, I’m delighted to see the revised CIL charging schedule progressing, as it is vital that we bring in as much money as we can to deliver the infrastructure, such as roads, schools and open spaces, that our communities need.

“The contributions made by developers through CIL are an essential part of the funding for these projects. The charges strike a fine balance between securing the funding required and not preventing the delivery of the new homes and jobs that are needed to create great places to live and work in East Devon.”

More information about how to submit comments on the CIL charging schedule revision consultation, can be found on the council’s website.

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