Ask the Planning Expert about CIL forms

Ask the Planning Expert column
Q. Do I have to complete CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) liability forms when I’m applying for planning permission?

Paul Middleton, a partner with us in our Minsterley office, explains what CIL is and why it is necessary when you're applying for planning permission.

"As a firm, we do planning for many successful barn conversions, self-build houses and housing schemes and all of these require completion of CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) liability forms. CIL is a payment to the local authority which goes towards infrastructure, services etc and is calculated on the amount of new build residential floor area being created by the development. In the Shropshire Council rural areas it is £90 sq/m of new build residential floor area dropping to £45 sq/m in the larger towns such as Shreswbury, Whitchurch and Ludlow.

"The CIL liability on even a modest detached house and garage can be around £15,000 so having the correct advice on exemptions (if self-building), together with submitting commencement notices etc is critical.

"If CIL procedures are not met and adhered to in the prescribed order the CIL team will demand immediate full payment, plus fines, together with suspension of on-site works until the money due is paid. It is therefore vital that applicants are made aware at a very early stage in proceedings of the liabilities they are signing up to.

"A very recent project I was involved with for a new detached house had a very old and dilapidated building on site, but it was still standing. The clients were staggered to learn on my initial site visit that had they knocked it down and cleared the site, as they intended doing, it would have cost them over £7,000. The building was worthless but I was able to include it on the CIL liability form, offsetting its floor area against the new floor area being generated by the house which produced the large saving on CIL costs.

"The offsetting, as you can imagine, can generate huge savings where new-build housing is proposed on brown field sites and farmyards where buildings currently stand, so early advise is crucial before site clearances are undertaken. The offsetting against CIL, and the savings it can achieve are important, even if the end goal is to sell the site with planning permission, because it quite simply makes the site more valuable.

"CIL is here to stay so we must accept it and understand it and where opportunities exist to exploit the rules and generate savings then good advice should be taken to ensure a successful and profitable outcome.

"Our planning team at Roger Parry & Partners have a wealth of experience so please don’t hesitate to call us."

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