What is a community infrastructure levy (CIL)?

The community infrastructure levy (CIL) allows local authorities in England and Wales to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in their area to fund a wide range of infrastructure that is needed to support new development. It will replace Section 106 planning obligations for many forms of infrastructure, although Section 106 agreements will continue to be used for affordable housing provision and can still be used for site-specific mitigation measures.

CIL can be used to fund a wide variety of infrastructure including:

  • transport schemes;
  • flood defences;
  • schools, and community facilities; and,
  • parks, green spaces and leisure centres.

As almost all development has some impact on the need for infrastructure, services and amenities, this tariff-based approach is seen as an effective, quicker and fairer framework to fund new infrastructure to support growth.

CIL is applied as a charge on each square metre of floor space in new buildings, with a minimum threshold of 100 square metres or a single dwelling. Some types of development are exempt, for example social housing is eligible for 100% relief.

Rates of CIL will be set out in a document known as a 'charging schedule'. A charging schedule sets out a rate per square metre for all qualifying development. This involves consultation and independent examination.

The first stage of the CIL process is to consult on a preliminary draft charging schedule. On 14 April 2015 the Cabinet of Cheltenham Borough Council approved a preliminary draft charging schedule for public consultation.