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RTPI puts members’ views forward to Community Infrastructure Levy consultation

20 January 2016

RTPI puts members’ views forward to government consultation on CIL

In its response to the DCLG’s review of Community Infrastructure Levy(CIL)*, the RTPI recognised that CIL is still in its early stages and makes a small but important contribution to overall infrastructure being delivered in England and Wales.

The RTPI also drew attention to the disparity in adopting CIL across the country with land values acting as the main determinant. Councils in places with depressed land values like rural areas do not often find CIL viable, with many councils still relying on S106 agreements. But the government’s recent restriction that limits the number of S106 agreements on one site to no more than five is hampering councils’ ability to deliver the infrastructure and supporting amenities communities need.

The RTPI believes that CIL has its value, but there appears to be significant variation in the way it is implemented. There needs to be more coordination and transparency in councils’ infrastructure delivery plans as well as in applicant viability assessments to make it less possible for private owners to claim that the financial burden of the levy is making development, in many cases affordable housing, “unviable”.

The RTPI’s response concluded by saying: “Given how much latent wealth sits in the hands of property owners, re-routing a proportion of the additional value of property that is created by public investment to the public purse seems a viable and fair way of funding infrastructure.”

The RTPI invited contributions from its members when formulating its response to the government questionnaire designed to measure how the CIL system is working in practice.

Read the full response here.

The institute will continue to engage in discussion about the way CIL is operating and it compatibility with the way planning works in England and Wales. We welcome views from members. Please contact harry.burchill@rtpi.org.uk for further details.

* Developers CIL, introduced in 2010, is part of the government’s solution to make the system of developer contributions through planning applications more transparent, fair and consistent. Other bespoke mechanisms of contributions (s106 and s278) still exist but cannot require contributions towards infrastructure (so these mechanisms deal with matters like affordable housing, open space, public art, workforce improvements etc.)