Community Infrastructure Levy will give local communities greater say over how money from development is spent in their area

East Devon District Council will be introducing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from Thursday (September 1) as a way of securing money from developers towards providing infrastructure such as school places, open space, new roads, and sports pitches.

The levy partially replaces the current Section 106 agreements which are a legal contract between the council and a developer to secure money towards the infrastructure of a development. Section 106 agreements will now be used primarily to secure infrastructure that the developer is providing themselves on the development and affordable housing with the rest paid for from CIL funds administered by the Council.

CIL charges are calculated on a per square metre basis and vary from £68 per square metre to £150 per square metre depending on the type of development and where in East Devon the development is taking place.

The charges, which have been fully consulted on and examined by an independent inspector, are calculated based on what is viable for developers to pay and meeting the cost of delivering the required infrastructure. The charges will apply primarily to new dwellings and some retail units, however very large house extensions of over 100 square metres will also have to pay the levy.

A portion of the levy will be passed to town and parish councils to spend on local projects. However developers are only required to pay when they start work on the development and will often pay in instalments so it may be some time before the local council’s receive significant sums of money.

A wealth of information about the levy, how it will operate, how it can be paid and exemptions to the levy can all be viewed through the council’s website.

Councillor Andrew Moulding, East Devon District Council’s Deputy Leader and Portfolio holder for strategic development and partnerships, said:

It is great news that we are now able to introduce CIL as it is non-negotiable and therefore gives certainty to developers and communities alike over what contributions will be made towards providing infrastructure with fewer protracted negotiations and delays that were previously caused by Section 106 agreements.

In the long term, local communities will also have a much greater say over how money from development is spent in their area with a proportion of the funds being passed to town and parish councils to spend.

Applicants for planning permission will, in most cases, now need to complete a form to accompany their application to provide the necessary information to calculate the CIL charge for their development in addition to the normal application forms.  Applications will not be actioned until this information has been received. Applicants are therefore advised to check the council’s website to ensure that they have completed all of the necessary forms before submitting their application.