The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a voluntary mechanism that allows local authorities in England and Wales to levy a standard charge on most types of new development, to fund the infrastructure needed to support development in their area. CIL has been designed to replace the current system of planning obligations.
The Government has set out transitional rules (originally up until April 2014 but now to be extended to April 2015) following which a Local Planning Authority may not seek contributions for pooled resources, for example play-space contributions, via Section 106 agreements; planning obligations should ideally be scaled back to cover the provision of affordable housing and site specific measures required to mitigate the impact of development. Once the Council has prepared its CIL charging schedule it should therefore be recognised that infrastructure will be delivered through this mechanism.
It is the intention of the Local Development Plan, via policy DP/5 'Infrastructure and New Developments' to secure contributions via Section 106 Agreements until CIL has been fully explored. The Council is currently gathering evidence on development viability for CIL, and compiling a draft infrastructure list and draft charging schedule. A Task and Finish Group has been established to scope the possibility of introducing a CIL, however the decision on whether or not the Council will take the scoping work to the next stage will rest with the Council’s Cabinet. If Cabinet decide to proceed with the CIL, then the following statutory processes will need to take place:
1. Consultation on the Draft Preliminary Charging Schedule (6 weeks)
2. Formally Consider Reps and make modifications
3. Issue Draft Schedule for Public Notification (6 weeks)
4. Hold CIL Examination (2/3 days maximum)
5. Secure Formal approval
6. Adopt and Publish Schedule
Stages 1 and 2 are almost complete. The preparation of a draft CIL charging schedule in Conwy is in progress pending a national review of CIL in Wales. Once the results of this review have been published a revised timetable will be drawn up accordingly.