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Agenda Item No

The Vale of Glamorgan Council

Cabinet Meeting: 20th May 2013

Report of the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation

Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 - Consultation on Proposed Amendments

Purpose of the Report

1. The report outlines the proposed amendments to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, which are currently subject to public consultation from the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and seeks Member approval for the consultation response attached at Appendix A.

Recommendations

(1)  That Cabinet approve the consultation response attached at Appendix A.

(2)  That the report be referred to Planning Committee for information.

Reasons for the Recommendations

(1)  To apprise DCLG of the Council's views on the proposed amendments.

(2) To inform Planning Committee of the matters raised in the report.

Background

2. Currently the Council enters into legal agreements with developers under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to seek contributions from developers to provide facilities such as transport, open space, and education to serve new developments. On the 6th April 2010 the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 came into force, which changed the way in which planning obligations can be sought through Section 106 Agreements, meaning these will now in part be replaced with the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). CIL is a new charging system that can be applied to most forms of development to fund infrastructure improvements that support the development of the authority area in accordance with the Local Development Plan (LDP).

3. On 21st February 2011 Cabinet resolved to commence work on preparing a Community Infrastructure Levy for the Vale of Glamorgan. This work is being undertaken in tandem with the preparation of the Local Development Plan (LDP).

4. Since the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 on the 6th April 2010, the Government has already reformed the levy through the Localism Act which introduced new powers to require a proportion of levy receipts be passed to Town and Community Councils where development takes place (15% of CIL receipts in Wales); by amendment regulations in 2011 and 2012, which clarified the operation of the levy; and by issuing revised guidance in 2012 which clarified what the regulations require and what the Government expects from those areas adopting the levy.

5. The current Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation seeks views on further regulatory reforms to the Community Infrastructure Levy. Comments on the proposals are required by 28th May 2013. The consultation covers a range of amendments to the regulations related particularly to rate setting and the operation of the levy in practice. These include:

- Requiring a charging authority to demonstrate that it has struck an appropriate balance between the desirability of funding infrastructure from the levy and the potential effects of the levy on economic viability of development across its area (see question 1);

- Amending the provisions on setting differential rates (see question 2);

- Extending the consultation period on the draft charging schedule (see question 3);

- The role of the list of infrastructure and procedures for reviewing it (see questions 4 and 5);

- Extending the transition period for further limitations on the use of pooled planning obligations from April 2014 to April 2015 to allow charging authorities more time to take into account the reforms we have already introduced and those proposed in this consultation (see question 6);

- Amending the relationship between the levy and section 278 agreements (see question 7);

- Allowing charging authorities the choice to accept payments in kind through provision of both land and infrastructure either on-site or off-site for the whole or part of the levy payable on a development (see questions 8 to 10);

- Extending the provisions for phasing of levy payments to all types of planning permission to deal fairly with more complex developments (see questions 11 to 14);

- Allowing existing floorspace to be credited against the levy liability provided the use has not been abandoned (see question 15);

- Ensuring multiple liability provisions work effectively so that new applications that bring forward changes but do not increase floorspace on permitted, but not completed, schemes will not trigger an additional liability (see question 16);

- Giving charging authorities the discretion to apply social housing relief to discounted market sales in their areas and ensuring that ancillary and communal areas are reflected (see questions 17 to 19);

- Making it easier to apply exceptional circumstances relief provisions (see question 20);

-  Introducing relief from the levy for self-build homes (see questions 21 and 22);

- Modifying the appeals procedures and allowing appeals in certain cases after development has commenced (see questions 23 and 24);

- Introducing transitional measures so that changes related to the charge setting process should not apply to authorities who have already published a draft charging schedule (question 25).

Relevant Issues and Options

6. As the Council is still in the early stages of preparing a Community Infrastructure Levy for the Vale of Glamorgan, many of these changes do not have significant or immediate implications for the Council, but will need to be complied with in the future adoption and implementation of CIL if they are carried forward into final amended regulations.

7. Therefore, for the Council, the key amendment proposed is to extend the transition period for further limitations on the use of pooled planning obligations from April 2014 to April 2015 to allow charging authorities more time to take into account the shift from section 106 agreements towards CIL for larger infrastructure projects. This amendment is welcomed as there is no prospect of the Council adopting CIL before April 2014 as it is reliant on the prior adoption of the Local Development Plan for the area. However, the consultation response at Appendix A calls for a further delay to take account of situations such as ours where an approved Development Plan is not in place for the area (see response to Question 6 at Appendix A).

8. Comments have been made on a number of the proposed amendments in the consultation response attached at Appendix A.

Resource Implications (Financial and Employment)

9. The contributions paid by Developers under the planning obligations system have a wide impact on many of the Council’s functions including education, community facilities, highways and public transport. The CIL, if implemented, will have similar impacts and provide an alternative source of funding for infrastructure projects.

Sustainability and Climate Change Implications

10. None arising out of this report, although planning obligations (and in future CIL) can be related to sustainability and climate change matters given that such matters are material considerations.

Legal Implications (to Include Human Rights Implications)

11. The existing planning obligations system is covered by Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended). The Planning Act 2008 makes provision for local authorities to prepare a Community Infrastructure Levy. On the 6th April 2010 The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (the CIL Regulations) came into force in England and Wales which established the procedure for introducing CIL.

12. This report considers further proposed changes to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.

Crime and Disorder Implications

13. None arising out of this report, although planning obligations can be related to crime and disorder matters given that such matters are material considerations.

Equal Opportunities Implications (to include Welsh Language issues)

14. In preparing a CIL for the Vale of Glamorgan, the Council will need to adhere to equal opportunities policies and ensure that the correct consultation procedures are complied with in accordance with the Regulations.

Corporate/Service Objectives

15. The contributions paid by Developers under the planning obligations system have a wide impact on many of the Council’s functions including education, community facilities, highways and public transport. The CIL, if implemented, will have similar impacts and provide an alternative source of funding for infrastructure projects.

Policy Framework and Budget

16. This report is a matter for Executive decision.

Consultation (including Ward Member Consultation)

17. No Ward Member consultation has been undertaken as the report has implications for the Vale as a whole rather than specific wards. Consultation has been undertaken with the representatives of the relevant service areas.

Relevant Scrutiny Committee

18. Economy and Environment.

Background Papers

Town and Country Planning Act 1990

The Planning Act 2008

The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010

Consultation on Community Infrastructure Levy further reforms (DCLG, April 2013) https://www.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/184888/Consultation_on_Community_Infrastructure_Levy_further_reforms.pdf

Contact Officer

Victoria Robinson, Principal Planner (Development Control)  Tel: 01446 704662

Officers Consulted

Principal Accountant - Resource Management

Operational Manager – Legal Services

Operational Manager – Planning & Transportation Policy

Group Engineer Highways & Traffic

Responsible Officer:

Rob Thomas - Director of Development Service

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