Defining Developer Contributions—progress and lessons learned on CIL

Defining Developer Contributions—progress and lessons learned on CIL

At the Westminster Briefing ‘Defining Contributions’ on 17 August 2016, developers, local planning authorities (LPAs) and solicitors discussed the progress, success stories and challenges of the community infrastructure levy (CIL) regime so far. Although CIL is proving effective in many areas of the country, some LPAs are reluctant to introduce it, as potential funds are outweighed by administration costs and resource needs.

What is the progress on CIL so far?

Laurence Martindale, head of local infrastructure planning—infrastructure division at the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) summarised the uptake of CIL by LPAs:

  • there are currently 127 LPAs charging CIL
  • a further 88 LPAs have 'taken steps towards adopting CIL' (although it later transpired that this figure included LPAs who had considered and dismissed the decision to introduce CIL)
  • CIL is further advanced in the south and east of the country
  • there is almost complete CIL coverage in London

How effective has CIL been?

Key points on the effectiveness of CIL included:

  • CIL was only ever intended to produce a contribution to infrastructure costs
  • CIL is yielding between 5–20% of funding required
  • viability testing means that only residential and retail development are attracting a significant CIL charge (other developments generally low or zero rate)
  • Mayoral CIL has worked well
  • CIL has produced certainty in terms of rates/transparency
  • CIL is working best for charging authorities where it has 'bedded down', ie been in place for a few years

What problems have been identified?

Wokingham Borough Council (WBC) relayed a success story of the operation of CIL in its area, emphasising that 'CIL is working!'. H

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About the author:

Jen is a solicitor specialising in planning law. She has experience in relation to a range of planning topics, including environmental impact assessment, section 106 agreements, highways orders, compulsory purchase, freedom of information issues, inquiries, judicial review, the Localism Act 2011, the National Planning Policy Framework and major infrastructure projects. After qualifying at Ashurst, Jen worked at Bevan Brittan and subsequently at CMS Cameron McKenna as an associate in the planning team. She worked as an external author for LexisPSL before joining the team in November 2010. She has written for a variety of legal publications, including the New Law Journal, Utilities Week, Planning Resource and The Lawyer. Jen regularly appears on Talking Law videocasts providing legal updates on planning law.