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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

PLANNING COMMITTEE: 3RD MARCH, 2011

 

REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 21ST FEBRUARY, 2011

 

 

"C1230          COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL) (PT) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -

 

Approval was sought to commence the preparation of a Community Infrastructure Levy, and to ensure delivery of the CIL by the deadline date of 6th April, 2014.

 

The CIL was a mechanism for charging developers a set fee to provide infrastructure in the local authority area.  Section 216 of the Planning Act 2008 as amended by Regulation 63 of the CIL Regulations defines 'infrastructure' for the purposes of CIL as including:

 

·                         roads and other transport facilities

·                         flood defences

·                         schools and other educational facilities

·                         medical facilities

·                         sporting and recreational facilities

·                         open spaces.

 

CIL was not intended to replace S106 Agreements.  It would subsume many of the matters and issues that were currently addresses through S106 Agreements.  S106 Agreements, would remain in force and would deliver site specific and local matters that could not otherwise be realised through the CIL.  The principle uses for S106 Agreements would be the delivery of affordable housing (which is expressly omitted from the definition of infrastructure in the CIL Regulations) and the mitigation of the direct effects of proposed developments. 

 

The principle implications for the Council in preparing CIL were resources and funding.  The preparation of CIL would require corporate backing and a corporate desire to be realised.  The component parts of the final CIL Charging Schedule would comprise matters originating from service areas throughout the whole Council.  Whilst the planning service was leading on the preparation of CIL, as it would be realised through the planning application system the CIL Charging Schedule would be a corporate document that would help to realise the Council's aims and objectives in developing the Vale of Glamorgan. 

 

In order to ensure that all forms of infrastructure were considered in the CIL, it would be necessary for all relevant service areas to identify their infrastructure needs and to provide robust costs for the delivery of that infrastructure.  The information and costings provided for the CIL must be robust enough to stand up to the domination at the formal independent examination (similar to that held for the LDP).  All of this would require a significant investment in terms of officer time and work for service areas across the Council. 

 

In addition, it may be necessary to seek expert advice and input to the process, which would obviously have a significant cost implication. 

 

A further source of costs in respect of CIL preparation lay with the statutory consultation and examination elements laid out in the CIL Regulations.  CIL would be the subject of two formal consultation exercises and be subject to an independent examination.  These processes would have a significant cost implication, particularly in respect of the examination as this would require the commissioning of an independent examiner to hold the hearings.  To minimise costs, it may be possible to combine the CIL examination alongside the LDP examination, but much would depend upon timeframes in the preparation of both. 

 

It was noted that the Council could seek to recover the cost of setting up and administering CIL once the charging system was in place and contributions were received from it.  The amount of CIL proceeds that a charging authority could use to finance its CIL administrative expenses was restricted in the CIL Regulations to a maximum of 5% of total receipts.

 

In preparing CIL, the Council would need to identify the infrastructure that would be encompassed within CIL.  In determining this, it would be necessary to consider the development aspirations of the LDP and Council priorities as well as the general and statutory infrastructure requirements stemming from appropriate development.  For example, flood risk issues could be included as infrastructure if regeneration of areas at risk of flooding was in accordance with the LDP and a Council priority.  In this way, CIL could assist in delivering development in accordance with the LDP that may not otherwise take place and could assist the Council in achieving its development priorities.

 

CIL would differ from S106 funding insofar as it could be pooled to deliver an infrastructure project that did not necessarily directly relate to the development from which it was sourced. 

 

Whilst CIL could assist in delivering appropriate development, the level of CIL charged would relate to the ability of development to contribute towards infrastructure.  A recent case (July 2008) set out the requirement for local authorities to consider viability in assessing the level of affordable housing they were seeking on development sites.  It was a corollary of this that anything that may affect the level of affordable housing delivered by a site i.e. additional S106 contributions, should also take account of the viability of sites.  CIL could have a significant impact and as such would need to take viability into account when setting its level.  Given the potential scope of matters that could be included in the CIL it was likely that the total cost of the infrastructure would far exceed the level of contribution that development sites could sustain.  Consequently, the level of CIL would be set in consideration of site viability and the Council would prioritise the infrastructure that CIL would deliver. 

 

This was a matter for Executive decision.

 

RESOLVED -

 

(1)       T H A T, subject to consultation with the Planning Committee and Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) agreement in principal be granted to commence preparing a Community Infrastructure Levy for the Vale of Glamorgan.

 

(2)       T H A T Cabinet receive a further report on this matter prior to the Community Infrastructure Levy's finalisation.

 

Reason for decision

 

(1&2)  To ensure that the development set out in the Local Development Plan is brought forward with appropriate infrastructure.  The cost and resource implications of preparing CIL is outweighed by the implications of not securing developer contributions towards necessary infrastructure."

 

 

Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 21st February, 2011

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