Introduction

1.         Legislative background 

a)         The Charging Authority 

This CIL Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule has been published by North Somerset District Council (known as North Somerset Council). The Council will be both a Charging Authority and a Collecting Authority. 

b)        Statutory compliance 

This Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule is published in accordance with the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (2010) and Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulations (2011) and statutory guidance. These and other background documents can be downloaded from the Communities and Local Government (CLG) website using the link below: 

http://www.pas.gov.uk/pas/core/page.do?pageId=1243078   

2.         General principles of the Community Infrastructure Levy 

a)         What is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)? 

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new charge which developers will be required to pay to help fund infrastructure needed to support development in their area.  

The CIL takes the form of a standard charge per m² of additional new floor space and is based on the size, type and area of new development. 

b)        Why is North Somerset Council introducing a CIL? 

North Somerset Council is planning for around 9,000 new homes and 10,000 new jobs across North Somerset from 2012 – 2026. This will create a significant requirement for new and improved infrastructure across the area, ranging from neighbourhood parks and schools through to major transport schemes and flood defences. These requirements are set out in the North Somerset Infrastructure Delivery Plan September 2011.

The Community Infrastructure Levy provides a new mechanism for collecting contributions from developers to help fund this infrastructure, without which development will not be sustainable. 

Development contributions towards infrastructure are currently collected through legal agreements known as ‘Section 106 agreements’. The CIL Regulations include measures to restrict the use of these agreements, in particular to prevent local authorities from introducing informal tariff arrangements. This means that the usefulness of Section 106 requirements to respond to the cumulative effects of development is now limited. In particular, after the adoption of a local CIL Charging Schedule or on 6 April 2014 (whichever is the earlier), local authorities will only be able to pool infrastructure contributions from a maximum of five planning applications. This is a key consideration of North Somerset Council in introducing a CIL. 

Other advantages of the CIL are that: 

  • CIL is a standard fixed-charge, so that both the Council and developers will be clear about how much will be paid and can factor this into their development and infrastructure calculations.
  • Once CIL rates are set, they are non-negotiable. This should save time and resource for all parties spent negotiating the overall package of development contributions.
  • CIL rates take account of the size, type and location of development, providing a fair and transparent mechanism for all developments to help pay for their impact on the area. Under the current Section 106 system, developments of fewer than 10 dwellings do not normally make any contribution to infrastructure costs.
  • Payments must be used to ‘support development’, but are not ring-fenced to specific planning applications. This provides a flexibility in pooling and spending development contributions that is not possible under the revised S106 regime.
  • Up to 5% may be used to fund the administration of the CIL.

Consultation question 1: Do you agree that North Somerset Council should introduce a CIL?

Consultation question 2: Are there any alternative mechanisms that should be considered to ensure that developers contribute appropriately towards infrastructure to support development, in particular the cumulative effects of development?