South Somerset District Council submits its Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule

On 27 May 2016 South Somerset District Council ('the Council') submitted its draft CIL Charging Schedule ('the Schedule') to the Secretary of State. The Schedule can be read here.

The Council has been progressing its CIL since 2012 when it first consulted on a preliminary draft Charging Schedule. The most recent consultation was held between 10 February 2016 and 24 March 2016, during which time the Council received 34 responses. Following this consultation, the Council made some minor changes to the Schedule which can be reviewed in the 'Statement of Modifications' document available here. Broadly speaking, the key changes can be summarised as follows:

  • the Council removed reference to C2 use classes (residential institutions) from the Schedule, thereby exempting C2 use from the Council's CIL.
  • the Council removed standalone references to retail (use classes A1 to A5) from the Schedule. Retail uses were originally included, albeit zero rated as a result of the evidence base showing that such developments could not remain viable if subject to CIL. The Council has apparently removed standalone references to such uses entirely, and retail will instead fall within the 'all other uses' category (which is zero rated).

As submitted, the Schedule sets the following CIL rates:

(a) for Yeovil sustainable urban extensions (defined in Local Plan policy), a zero rate is proposed.

(b) for the Chard Eastern Development Area (defined in Local Plan policy), a zero rate is proposed.

(c) for all other residential development, a charge of £40 per square metre is proposed.

(d) for convenience based supermarkets and superstores, and retail warehouse parks outside of defined town centres and primary shopping areas, a charge of £100 per square metre is proposed.

(e) for all other uses, a district wide zero rate is proposed.

The Council expects there to be CIL receipts of approximately £14.6 million from the charging of CIL (date not specified in the Schedule, but circa early 2017 to 2028).

The Council is proposing to adopt an instalments policy, albeit developers will not be able to avail themselves of this policy where they breach the various requirements of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 as regards the service of notices. Equally, if an instalment payment has not been made in full within 30 days of falling due, the instalments policy will no longer apply to that chargeable development. This can have significant consequences, as where the instalments policy does not apply the full chargeable amount must be paid within 60 days from the notified or deemed commencement date.

Where the instalments policy applies, the proposed breakdown is as follows:

1) for amounts under £16,000, or development of a single dwelling, CIL must be paid in full within 60 days of commencement.

2) for amounts of between £16,000 and £60,000, two instalments of 20% are payable within 90 and 360 days of commencement, and a final instalment of 60% is payable within 540 days of commencement.

3) for amounts of between £60,000 and £300,000, two instalments of 20% and one instalment of 60% are payable within 90 days, 360 days, and 720 days of commencement respectively.

4) for amounts of between £300,000 and £750,000, three instalments of 20% and one instalment of 40% are payable within 90 days, 360 days, 720 days and 1,080 days of commencement respectively.

5) for amounts over £750,000, 10% is payable within 90 days of commencement, then two instalments of 20% will be payable within 540 and 1,080 days of commencement respectively. A final instalment of 50% is payable within 1,800 days of commencement.

The Council's draft Regulation 123 List, setting out the infrastructure on which the CIL will be spent, is relatively short, and includes six transport projects, flood risk management works, a series of improvements in outdoor recreation space (including sports, community and cultural facilities), open space and public realm improvements.

In terms of next steps, the indicative date for the examination in public is July 2016. Following that, the Schedule anticipates the examiner's report in October 2016 with formal Council approval of the Schedule in November 2016. As things stand, the Council has not yet put a date on when it will begin charging CIL on developments, albeit it is relatively rare for Councils to wait too long from adopting a schedule to starting charging.

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