Wealden District Council

Community Infrastructure Levy FAQs

Q: What is CIL?

A: CIL is a levy raised on new development and the regulations affecting this came into force in April 2012. It allows local authorities to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area. The primary use of CIL is to gain financial contributions from development to help fund new or improved infrastructure required to support the growth identified in Wealden's Core Strategy, across the District to 2027. CIL will not be the sole funding source for all infrastructure necessary, but it will supplement other public sector revenue streams.

In addition, the government has decided that a 'meaningful proportion' of CIL monies collected should be passed to local neighbourhoods Town or Parish councils in the areas where development is happening, to spend on infrastructure projects to support new development in the local area. This money is top sliced from the CIL received and it is up to the local neighbourhoods, Town or Parish Councils to decide what the 'meaningful proportion' is spent on. In January 2013 it was announced that 25% of the CIL raised would be given to neighbourhoods with a Neighbourhood Plan and 15% to neighbourhoods without a Neighbourhood Plan. 

Q: How is CIL charged?

A: CIL is charged in £s per sqm against new floorspace created. Any area of floorspace demolished as part of a proposal is discounted from the final chargeable amount. (e.g. 50sqm of floorspace demolished to make way for new build of 100sqm, would give a chargeable floorspace = 50sqm).

New build development (a new building or an extension to an existing building) is only liable for the levy if it is 100sqm or more or if it involves the creation of a new dwelling (even if the dwelling is less than 100sqm).

There are however some exemptions from CIL including development of affordable housing and charitable landowners/ purposes.

Q: Does CIL need to be paid for all development?

A: In a general sense CIL will be charged on most buildings that people normally go into. CIL charges do not apply to structures such as pylons and wind turbines. The levy will not be charged on changes of use or on development that does not involve an increase in floorspace.

Q: Who collects CIL?

A: Collection of the levy is carried out by charging authorities. Wealden District Council, as Local Planning Authority, is the charging authority who will collect and administer CIL collected from development across Wealden. County Council's will collect the levy charged by Wealden on developments within the District for which the County Council grants consent, but they then pass it back to the charging authority.

Q: When is CIL paid?

A: CIL is payable on the commencement of development although the Charging Authority may operate a phasing or installments policy if it chooses. 

Q: What can CIL be spent on?

A: The money collected from CIL can only be used to fund infrastructure projects in the area that are needed as a result of development. It cannot be used to rectify existing infrastructure deficits unless those deficiencies are made worse by new development. The levy can also be used for the on-going maintenance of infrastructure. The decision on where and how the CIL monies are spent is made by the charging authority.

Q: How is infrastructure defined?

A: The Planning Act 2008 provides a wide definition of infrastructure which can be funded by the levy, including (but not exclusively) transport, flood defences, schools, hospitals, other health care, social care, play areas, parks and green spaces, cultural and sports facilities, district heating schemes, police stations and other community safety facilities. The regulations presently rule out the provision of affordable housing by CIL monies although the Government has recently consulted separately on this matter. 

Q: Who decides what rate the levy will be set at?

A: The charging authority should propose a rate which does not put at serious risk the overall development of their area. Charging authorities will use evidence based on the viability of development across their area to determine their CIL rate or rates. The proposed rates are set out in a Charging Schedule and will be subject to two rounds of public consultation and independently examined. Only after examination and subject to the independent examiners report can the CIL charge be adopted.

Q: Who decides what the levy will be spent on and where?

A: It is the charging authority who decides how and when the levy will be spent and will publish a list of infrastructure items it intends to spend CIL on at the time it adopts CIL. The authority is required to produce a CIL spending list (known as a regulation123 list) to be examined with the Charging Schedule. The list can be changed however the list must be re examined by an independent examiner. A charging authority may also spend CIL on infrastructure to be delivered outside its area if it will benefit new development that occurs within its own area. CIL raised in one area of the District may be used to fund key strategic infrastructure in other parts of the District.

Q: What is the meaningful proportion?

The meaningful proportion is a percentage of the CIL receipts raised in a Town/ Parish Council area that is paid directly to the Town/ Parish Council where the development is taking place. Currently the percentage is 25% of the total receipt to be given where a Town/ Parish Council has a neighbourhood plan in place on the date the planning permission is granted and 15% where there is no neighbourhood plan in place.

Q: What can the meaningful proportion be spent on?

The meaningful proportion can be spent on anything to help mitigate the impact the development has on the Town/ Parish. It is the decision of the Town/ Parish council where the money is spent.

Q: How does the CIL relate to the Local Plan and other recent consultations?

A: The Community Infrastructure Levy is separate from the Local Plan and recent consultation exercises and public examination. Comments should not be made on CIL in relation to the Core Strategy and Strategic Sites Local Plans. This consultation is not about the type and level of development proposed across the district. It is about the level of charges that can be levied on new development to help fund infrastructure across the district.

Q: Why have I been notified that the CIL Draft Charging Schedule has been published?

A: We produced a Statement of Community Involvement (SCI) in February 2007, which provides a framework of consultation for the Local Development Framework process. As part of the development of that document we produced a database of all those people who were interested in the Local Development Framework. That database has been added to following earlier consultations on the Core Strategy and Strategic Sites Development Plan Documents. We have used the database to inform all the interested parties. Letters have been sent to everyone listed in our Local Development Framework database to comment on the proposed rates for the Community Infrastructure Levy including those who commented on the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule in May/ June 2012. The levy will only apply to new development taking place within the district therefore unless you are building a house or any new development more than 100 sqm then you will not be affected by the levy. Comments should only be made on the proposed rates for the levy and/ or the evidence used to support the levy (the viability assessment). We are also required to consult with certain statutory organisations.

Q: Please can you add/remove my details to/from your database?

A: Please contact the Planning Policy Team on 01892 602007 or send an email to ldf@wealden.gov.uk and we will arrange to remove or add your details.

Q: How can I view/obtain the documents?

a: The easiest way to access the main documents (in HTML or pdf format) is to view from the Council's Website, follow the links to the Community Infrastructure Levy home page. The documents are available in PDF format.

The documents are also available to view at the Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX. Office hours are Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday 8.30am to 5.00pm, Wednesday 9.00am to 5pm.

If you would like a hard copy of the documents these are available to be purchased from the Council (cost is to cover postage and packaging). If you need copies of any of the documents in a different format, please let us know by telephoning our document request line on 01892 602007 and we will arrange for the documents to be sent to you in your requested format.

Paper Copies of the representation form can be sent free of charge on request from the council.

Q: How do I pay for the documents?

A: Payment can be via cash/credit or debit card at Wealden District Council offices, or by cheque made payable to Wealden District Council, or by contacting the council on 01892 602007.

Q: Can I get a copy of the document in another language?

A: Yes. If you need copies of any of the documents in a different language, please let us know by telephoning our document request line on 01892 602007. We will arrange for the documents to be sent to you in your requested language. There will be no charge for this translation service.

Q: I don't have access to a computer/ the internet - how do I respond?

A: Those who do not have access to a computer or the internet can access our website from the Council's help points at both the Council Offices (at Hailsham and Crowborough), or in local libraries. Alternatively, you can post the representation forms to Head of Planning and Environmental Policy, Wealden District Council, Council Offices, Vicarage Lane, Hailsham, East Sussex, BN27 2AX

Q: Why is the consultation period six weeks?

A: This six week consultation period will give people a chance to read the background documents and ask questions if they want to, before making their representations.

Q: Do I have to give my name when I reply?

A: We cannot accept anonymous responses, as we need to know that the response is genuine. Responses will be published on the Council's website so that everyone can view them. To ensure your privacy, we will not publish any of your personal details such as address, phone numbers or e-mail addresses.

Q: Why do you want to know all this other information about me when I reply, such as my race and gender?

A: The Council is trying to ensure that it reaches all of the community in its consultation exercises. By providing this information it helps us to identify those people who we are not hearing from, so that we can consider other ways of consulting with them in the future. However, please do not feel obliged to give this information if for any reason you feel uncomfortable about doing so.

Q: How can I find out more or ask questions?

A: Planning Officers can be contacted by emailing: ldf@wealden.gov.uk or by calling 01892 602007.