New guidance published on Community Infrastructure Levy regulations

New planning guidance has been published by the Government regarding amendments made to Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations. The new regulations came into force on 1st September and include several notable changes:

  • The requirement to consult on a preliminary draft charging schedule has been removed.
  • Local planning authorities are now allowed to charge developers for the costs of monitoring planning obligations.
  • CIL Regulation 123 has been removed; this was a clause which restricted local planning authorities from using more than five Section 106 obligations to fund a single infrastructure project.
  • A new requirement has been introduced which means that charging authorities must publish an ‘Infrastructure Funding Statement’. The Statement will set out the annual value of money raised via developer contributions, as well as providing information as to how this money has been spent. The first statement will not be required until December 2020. New digital tools are currently being piloted which will further help with the preparation of funding statements.

The reforms to developer contributions were intended to make the existing system less complex and more transparent. The potential positive impact behind the changes is that they will provide authorities with more freedom to direct funds towards significant infrastructure projects at a faster rate and provide greater certainty in delivery. However, there are concerns that the removal of regulatory controls could instead result in further confusion due to the uncertainty over how authorities will effectively monitor and control the relationship between CIL and section 106 obligations.

Officials from the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government have been running workshops for local authorities in order to keep officers updated on regulatory changes by using illustrative examples of CIL calculations. The CIL forms have also been updated to align with the regulatory changes mentioned above.

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