Decision details

Breckland Community Infrastructure Levy - Draft Charging Schedule and Viability Assessment

Decision Maker: Cabinet

Decision status: Recommendations approved

Is Key decision?: Yes

Is subject to call in?: Yes

Purpose:

To present options on the progression of a Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule for Members.

Decision:

RESOLVED that:

 

1)     the production of a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) be halted for the present time and a watching brief be kept on the CIL regulations; and

 

2)     the Executive Member for Assets & Strategic Development and the Chief Executive be  given delegated authority to recommence the process if the situation changes.

Reasons for the decision:

It is recommended that Members endorse Option 3 of the report which would halt the production of CIL at the present time.  Endorsing this option would not preclude Members from reconsidering CIL at a point in the future should the housing and commercial markets improve.  Furthermore, this option reduces the cost to the Council of setting up and implementing CIL for a limited potential return for infrastructure provision.  Option 3 also reduced the risks associated with the reduction in funds from CIL to provide critical infrastructure.

Alternative options considered:

Option 1

 

Cabinet agree the publication of the Draft Charging Schedule and Regulation 123 list for the statutory six week publication. Further to this Members also agree for the Charging Schedule and any minor modifications to be submitted for public examination with an Independent Examiner following agreement from the Council Leader and the Executive Member for Assets and Strategic Development.

 

·                Advantages – This option would see the Council continuing the preparation of CIL. To continue with this option reducing the risks associated with the restrictions on the pooling of s106 agreements that will take effect from April 2015.

 

·                Disadvantages – This option commits the Council to continuing with a CIL charging schedule and needs to be weighed against the amount of money which will be raised by CIL to support infrastructure. The recent changes to the regulations have seen reductions in the amount of money to be raised to approximately £6,857,535 over a 13 year period. This represents a reduction in 39.8% from previous estimates. Furthermore, there are also risks associated with the review of the CIL regulations in 2015 and the potential for further changes depending on the outcome of Parliamentary elections.  Notwithstanding this, the reduced CIL pot will also have implications on the provision of critical infrastructure to support planned development in Breckland. It is likely to lead to the need for the Council to make decisions regarding the prioritisation of infrastructure provision and may lead to the delay in some infrastructure being provided.

 

Option 2

 

Cabinet agree the Draft Charging Schedule and Regulation 123 list for public consultation and to bring back the Charging Schedule to Members before submitting it for examination.

 

The advantages and disadvantages for this option are the same as for option 1; however the following additional advantages and disadvantages have also been identified.

 

·                Advantages – All Members of Cabinet would be able to consider any representations received in regards to the charging schedule and review their implications on the charging schedule.

 

·                Disadvantages – This option has the potential to delay the timetable for the production of CIL which could lead the adoption of CIL to be beyond the April 2015 deadline for the pooling of s106 agreements.

 

Option 3

 

Members agree to halt the production of a Community Infrastructure Levy for Breckland for the present time. The Draft Charging Schedule would not be agreed for public consultation.

 

·                Advantages – Halting the production of CIL and continuing with a negotiated S106 approach provides greater assurances on the deliverability of key infrastructure. This approach avoids having to wait for funds to build up in the CIL ‘pot’ before infrastructure can be funded/ delivered. The implementation of CIL is likely to incur additional costs to the Council. These costs include a public examination, provision of new ICT systems/adaptations of existing ICT systems and potentially new staff resources to facilitate the collection of CIL receipts. S106 agreements would still be needed to secure affordable housing and also in circumstances where developments are exempted from CIL due to the level of on-site infrastructure needed. The CIL regulations allow the Council to retain 5% of CIL receipts to cover administrative costs. This needs to be considered against a potentially diminishing level of CIL receipts over the plan period to 2026. When considering the cost of implementing, undertaking and monitoring CIL, the 5% is unlikely to meet all of this. As such, any additional cost above the 5% would need to be borne by the Council.

 

·                Disadvantages – The restrictions to the pooling of s106 agreements in April 2015 has the potential to reduce the amount of money raised through s106. If the Council decide not to continue with the implementation of a CIL charging schedule this could lead to a reduction in funding for infrastructure. If the Council decide not to implement a CIL charging schedule, this will have implications for parish council’s within Breckland. The CIL regulations see 15% of the total CIL receipt being past onto parish councils. This rises to 25% if the parish council have a neighbourhood plan in place. Parish councils are not however eligible for a proportion of money raised from s106 agreements.

 

 

Report author: Phil Mileham

Publication date: 03/07/2014

Date of decision: 01/07/2014

Decided at meeting: 01/07/2014 - Cabinet

Effective from: 11/07/2014

Accompanying Documents: