Property industry welcomes proposed CIL shake-up

Wed 17th April 2013, 5:52 pm

The British Property Federation (BPF) has welcomed the government's proposed changes to the community infrastructure levy.

Liz Peace: chief executive of British Property Federation

The DCLG has released a consultation paper which would provide greater clarity on how councils have set CIL charges, proposing that councils could accept levy payments from developers in kind, instead of cash or land.

British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace said: "If the homes and jobs that are so desperately needed are to be forthcoming, it is imperative that schemes are not held up by flaws in the mechanics of the community infrastructure levy.

"We are delighted that government has worked with the industry and listened to our concerns, and that many of these issues are to be consulted upon.

“It is now important the government gets on with implementing these amendments, particularly with development in much of the country at a standstill.”

Other proposed changes include:

  • ensuring that levy payments are phased along with the planning permission, to help get development under way as soon as possible
  • enabling councils to exempt affordable market housing exempt from levy charges
  • removing the current vacancy test, so the levy won't generally be payable on buildings that are vacant because they're being refurbished or redeveloped to bring them back into productive use. The levy would still be payable on abandoned buildings or vacant buildings being redeveloped with an increase in floorspace
  • allowing councils that have not adopted the levy to continue to pool contributions from different planning obligations for an extra year
  • giving charging authorities the discretion to apply social housing relief for discount market sales.

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