18 Nov, 2010, UK
In a Parliamentary Written Statement today, Greg Clarke, the Planning Minister has announced that the Government is retaining the key elements of the previous administrations Community Infrastructure Levy, but with some important changes to bring it into line with their ‘localism’ agenda.
The Government will require charging authorities to allocate a meaningful proportion of levy revenues raised in each neighbourhood back to that neighbourhood to ensure that where a neighbourhood bears the brunt of a new development, it receives sufficient money to help it manage those impacts.
The Government will include provisions in the Localism Bill to limit the binding nature of the examiners' reports on levy rates. Currently, an examiner scrutinises a council's levy rates, and all changes that they request are binding, including the rates set for specific areas or types of development. Examiners will now only be able to ensure councils do not set unreasonable charges. Councils will be required to correct charges that examiners consider to be unreasonable, but they will have more discretion on how this is done.
Other provisions, such as the exemption for most affordable housing and charity development will continue., as will the limitations on S.106 agreements introduced in April under the CIL regulations.
So, we now have a degree of certainty on the tariffs issue, but it is still likely to be at least 18 months / 2 years before the first CIL arrangements are confirmed following independent examination.