Independent panel criticises Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

Property Developer Richard Carr recently spoke out in the Bournemouth Echo about the need to rethink the way that property taxes such as s106 payments and CIL are being implemented, an opinion which is now being shared by an independent panel.

Review

Richard Carr image of Liz Peace

Liz Peace

Last week the government set up an independent panel to review CIL and look at ways in which it could be improved. Former British Property Federation CEO Liz Peace chaired the panel and told a National Planning Summit that the levy “is not providing a huge amount of funding for infrastructure” and has failed to provide a “faster, simpler, more transparent system’ than section 106.

Furthermore, she said that the review team were “not convinced that CIL has met the primary purpose of when it was set up”.

“We don’t actually think it’s providing a huge amount of funding for infrastructure, and it most certainly hasn’t provided a faster, simpler, more transparent system,” Peace said.

What next?

Although Peace was against abolishing the tax completely, she made it clear that changes very needed urgently.

“I can’t tell you where we are actually going to go,” Peace said, “but we didn’t rule anything out. We did consider should we abolish it, we did consider should we just leave it as it is. And we looked at a whole lot of things in between”.

Peace said that the panel has “some pretty strong ideas of where we are going” and hoped to have finalised its report by the middle of next month.

“Then it will be up to the government to decide when to publish it and what they are going to do with the implementation,” she said.

Unviable

In his Bournemouth Echo piece, Richard Carr spoke about how the taxes are making developments unrealistic, a thought shared by other small site developers according to Paula Hassall, head of CIL and s106 for the Department for Communities and Local Government.

She said that the department is starting to receive some correspondence from smaller site developers, who contend that paying CIL alongside affordable housing contributions is “making their development unviable”.

“It will be interesting to look at that alongside the outcome of the CIL review,” she said. “It’s very significant to us from a policy point of view, not just for section 106, but how we move forward with CIL”.