Some interesting statistics have just been published by Central Government in the form of a summary of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) being applied by various Local Authorities across the country.
CIL is intended to replace Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Acts as the main means of collecting so called ‘Planning Gain’ benefits from developers. Critics say that S106 has become too complex to administer, time consuming to apply and ineffective as a means of delivering essential infrastructure. It is, say the critics, one of the main reasons why it takes so long to build new homes in the UK
CIL is intended to simply and streamline the process of collecting money from developers in order to provide essential infrastructure not just to housing sites, but for ALL forms of development.
CIL was introduced 2 years ago, but there was little guidance from Central Government as to the amount of Levy to be charged on different types of development, and how the levy applied in practice. Many Local Authorities- including UDC- opted to retain the use of S106 until further and better market based evidence emerged of the use of the levy in practice, and crucially how it compared to S106 in terms of the amount of money it actually raises on a development by development basis.
The evidence now seems to be available in the form of a 51 page analysis of CIL charges across the country. It varies greatly by region, but in our region, the following examples apply:
- Chelmsford, Cambridge and Colchester are all charging £125.00 per square metre ( SM) per new house regardless of size or type.
For a typical 3 bed 5 person (3B/5P) semi detached or linked terrace house of about 35 SM on plan area, this amounts to £4375.00
For a typical 4 bed 7 person (4B/7P) home of about 50 SM on plan area CIL will be about £6250.00
For commercial premises, Cambridge is charging £75 per SM, Colchester is charging £150 per SM.
- A typical superstore such as Waitrose in Saffron Walden or Tesco in Dunmow probably average about 15,000 SM on plan area, and would therefore cost £1,125,000 in CIL in Cambridge and £2,250,000 in Colchester.
- In Dunmow, for example, a developer is proposing to build 350 new homes ( 200 3B/5P and 150 4B/7P) plus a 15,000 SM supermarket. If Cambridge CIL charges were applied here, this might raise about £2,937,500 in CIL which would be collected upfront by UDC and distributed to various other bodies including ECC, to pay for infrastructure.
25% ( about £750k) would be payable to Dunmow Town Council because it has concluded a Neighbourhood Plan that has been found sound on examination.This is a new and potentially game changing feature of CIL. It affects all 53 town and parish councils throughout the District and gives them direct entitlement and access to levels of funding that they will not have seen before.
This could open up a range of new and exciting opportunities for UDC to work in partnership with the towns and parishes to ensure that this money is spent wisely on an ongoing programme of capital projects aimed at enhancing and improving all of our lives here in Uttlesford. What do residents think?