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Out-Law News 1 min. read

Amended CIL Regulations come into force

New community infrastructure levy (CIL) regulations, which move back the date from which local authorities will be restricted in their use of pooled section 106 contributions to April 2015, have come into force today. 

The regulations, which amend the CIL Regulations 2010, introduce a new requirement for local authorities to strike an appropriate balance between infrastructure needs and development viability when setting their CIL rates.

They delay the restriction on local authorities' use of planning obligations for pooled contributions, under which authorities may seek financial contributions from up to five separate planning obligations to fund an item of infrastructure not intended to be funded by CIL, from April 2014 to April 2015.

The regulations allow charging authorities to set differential rates by reference to the proposed size of development as well as to the proposed number of units or dwellings, although this will not apply to authorities which have already published a draft charging schedule.

Where a charging authority has published a draft Regulation 123 list identifying the projects or types of infrastructure its CIL receipts are intended to fund, that list must be used to inform its charging schedule.

An option is introduced for charging authorities to accept payments in kind through the provision of on-site or off-site infrastructure for the whole or part of the levy payable on a development. This extends the previous rules under which CIL liability could be discharged through land provision.

The regulations also extends the current 'vacancy test' under which existing floor space can be off-set against a CIL liability when a building has been in continuous lawful use for at least six of the previous 12 months. The test is extended to cover buildings that have been in use for a continuous period of six months in the last three years.

The new regulations implement a number of reforms to CIL which the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consulted on last year.

“We are pleased with the general direction of travel of the revised regulations, but do have some outstanding concerns," said British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace in a statement. "The larger changes may be so beset with caveats that they risk being rendered less than useful," she added.

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