Developers and landowners with plans to carry out development projects in the Lichfield District Council area are being advised to seek guidance on the recently introduced Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which could have a significant impact on the financial viability of their proposed schemes.
Introduced by the Planning Act 2008, and coming in to force as of April 6 2010, the Community Infrastructure Levy was designed as a tool by which local authorities in England and Wales could help deliver infrastructure to support the increased number of developments in their area.
Whilst many local council areas are in the process of introducing their CIL, Lichfield District Council is amongst the first to have actually done so and as Mark Turner, a solicitor in FBC Manby Bowdler’s Planning team explains, prospective developers need to be aware of this:
“The requirement to pay the CIL could have a major effect on the value of land which developers and landowners intend to sell or purchase and with a number of exceptions and varying clauses as to which developments are subject to this charge, I’d urge anyone with concerns to seek expert legal advice on how they could be affected.”
In the main, the CIL is calculated on a per square metre basis and is payable on any development of buildings into which people normally go, where the area of new build is more than 100 square metres. Additionally, where 1 or more dwellings (even where the floor space is less than 100 square metres) are being developed, the charge can also apply although there are exceptions.
“What landowners and developers need to be particularly aware of is that there are some types of development which are not liable to pay the CIL. These include any development (for anything other than a new dwelling) which creates less than 100 square metres of floor space; structures or buildings into which people do not normally go, or only go intermittently; and mezzanine floors added to existing buildings (provided no other works are involved).
“Self-build homes, extensions and annexes; social housing; developments for charitable use and apartments are also exempt but there are often specific requirements which need to be met and it is here that developers could fall foul of the detail. The Planning Team at FBC Manby Bowdler is able to provide professional advice on all planning issues, including the CIL and we would welcome their enquiries.”