The Mayor of London's Community Infrastructure Levy
In addition to a local authority setting its own Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) the Mayor of London is also empowered to charge a CIL for strategic transport and has formally approved a CIL that will be charged on most new developments for the funding of Crossrail.
The Mayoral CIL takes effect on developments that are granted planning permission on or after 1 April 2012. It is important to be aware that planning applications that have been submitted prior to the 1 April 2012 but which have not been determined by the date that the Mayor’s Charging Schedule takes effect may be liable for the Mayoral CIL.
The Mayor is imposing a CIL charge of £50 per square metre in Westminster against all but health, education and affordable housing floorspace.
The Mayor of London, together with Transport for London (TfL) has issued an important leaflet which provides information for all applicants and contact details for enquiries. Further information can also be obtained on the Mayor's CIL website.
Westminster’s Role as Collecting Authority
Westminster City Council, as a London Borough, is required to calculate, collect and enforce the Mayoral CIL.
The following sections summarise the information that is required to accompany applications that will become liable for the Mayoral CIL.
Applications liable for the Mayoral CIL?
Liability to pay the Mayoral CIL is triggered on developments that include any new build – that is a new building or an extension – of 100 square metres, or more, of gross internal floor space (GIA), or any development that involves the creation of an additional dwelling, even when that is below 100 square metres of GIA.
Charges on floorspace contained in existing and / or demolished buildings will usually be deducted from the total CIL liability of a development. This is to ensure that charging CIL does not discourage the redevelopment of sites. However, to qualify for this discount the legislation requires the existing and / or demolished floorspace to have been in continuous lawful use for at least 6 months during the 12 months preceding the day on which planning permission first permits the chargeable development. The onus will be on the applicant to demonstrate that this criteria has been met before qualifying for a CIL discount.
It is important when calculating the day on which planning permission first permits development to refer to the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (2010) as amended as this date will be different for outline planning permissions, permissions which contain pre-commencement conditions and general consents.
Exemptions from the Charge
The following types of development will usually be exempt from the payment of the Mayoral CIL:
- Health and Education uses which are both zero rated in the Mayor’s draft Charging Schedule;
- Social Housing provided by local Housing Authority, registered social landlord or registered provider of social housing and shared ownership housing subject to the specific provisions of Regulation 49;
- Charities where the development will be used for charitable purposes – See Regulation 43;
- Structures or buildings that people only enter for the purpose of inspecting or maintaining fixed plant or machinery
Information Required to Accompany Your Application
All planning applications must provide sufficient information to allow the council to determine whether the development is liable to pay the Mayoral CIL and if so to calculate it accurately from the floor areas provided.
Applicants should be aware that it is an offence for a person to knowingly or recklessly supply information which is false or misleading in a material respect to a charging or collecting authority in response to a requirement under the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (2010) as amended. A person guilty of an offence under this regulation may face unlimited fines, two years imprisonment, or both.
The Planning Portal have developed a series of CIL forms that must be completed by the applicant. Further information on each form is provided below.
CIL Additional Information Form
A national CIL additional information form and accompanying guidance has been developed and is available on the Planning Portal. Applicants should download this form and submit it with all applications for full planning permission, Section 73 variations and reserved matters:
This form will become part of the application validation checklist requirements and eventually subsumed within the ONEAPP form.
The Council independently checks plans when applications are assessed. Misleading or inaccurate answers may result in a CIL charge that is higher than it needs to be and in some cases additional surcharges may be imposed. Applicants should also be aware that the CIL Regulations allow an authority to deem the gross internal area of a building to be zero for the purposes of a deduction if it does not have sufficient information or information of sufficient quality to establish the areas or the lawful use.
In some instances a permitted development may be of a sufficient scale to trigger the liability to pay the Mayoral CIL. In such cases it is the responsibility of the developer to serve a Notice of Chargeable Development Form on the council before the development is commenced.
Assumption of Liability
Responsibility to pay the levy runs with the ownership of the land, unless another party has assumed liability. An Assumption of CIL Liability Form should be submitted to the council with the planning application to ensure that the CIL liability notice is issued to the correct party.
Liability may be transferred at any time before commencement of the development. In such cases the following forms should be completed as appropriate to activate the transfer of liability:
- Assumption of Liability Form
- Withdrawal of Assumption of Liability Form
- Transfer of Assumed Liability Form
In the event that the council is unable to recover CIL from a party that has assumed liability, the liability defaults to the owners of the land.
A CIL Liability Notice setting out the estimated CIL charge will be issued by the council as soon as practicable after the grant of planning permission, to the landowner or the party that has assumed liability, with a copy to the planning applicant.
Relief and Exemption
Relief from the Mayoral CIL levy is available in the following instances:
1. A charity landowner will benefit from full relief from their portion of the liability where the chargeable development will be used wholly, or mainly, for charitable purposes.
2. The regulations provide 100% relief from the levy on those parts of a chargeable development which are intended to be used as social housing.
In both situations applicants must complete a Claiming Exemption or Relief Form and a decision must be made by the collecting authority before development commences.
Commencement of Development and Payment of CIL
Once the liability notice has been issued by the council the parties liable to pay the charge must submit a Commencement Notice confirming the start date of the development. This should be received by the council no later than a day before development is due to commence.
The council will then issue a demand notice reminding liable parties how much they owe and by when. The payment will generally be due in full at the end of 60 days after the development has started. The Mayor is expected to introduce an installment policy for developments that attract a CIL liability in excess of £500,000. The Mayor of London's CIL website will set out details of the installment policy.
If a development is liable for the Mayoral CIL payment is mandatory. There are strong enforcement powers and penalties for failure to pay, including Stop Notices, surcharges, late payment interest and prison terms.
Relationship with the Mayor of London's Supplementary Planning Guidance: Use of Planning Obligations in the Funding of Crossrail, July 2010
The Mayor has an existing Planning Obligations tariff for the funding of Crossrail of £60 to £137 per square metre for commercial development in most of the city. The Mayor is legally empowered to charge both his CIL and his planning obligations tariff in tandem but has indicated that where relevant the CIL payment will be treated as a credit towards the planning obligations payment.
Resources for Further Detailed Information on CIL
For further information on CIL collection, enforcement and appeals process please consult the following government guidance Community Infrastructure Levy – collection and enforcement.
For further information on CIL and guidance please follow these links:
- The Mayor of London's Community Infrastructure Levy Website
- Communities and Local Government
- Planning Portal
- Planning Advisory Service
- Planning Officers Society
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