Developers concerned about "alarming" CIL rates proposed by Westminster

Out-Law News | 26 Sep 2014 | 5:16 pm | 1 min. read

Property developers have expressed concern that community infrastructure levy (CIL) rates proposed by Westminster City Council could threaten the provision of affordable housing and improvements to the public realm in the borough, according to a report in the Estates Gazette.

The Council has proposed in its preliminary draft charging schedule (PDCS) (10-page / 1.1 MB PDF) to charge rates of up to £550 per square metre for residential developments. This represents the third highest residential development rate either proposed or adopted in Greater London to date. Only the proposed £750 per sq m rate in parts of Kensington and Chelsea and an adopted top rate of £575 per sq m in Wandsworth exceed the CIL rates proposed by Westminister City Council.

The Council's proposed rate of £250 per sq m for office development, in a central zone stretching from Kensington Gardens to Covent Garden, is Greater London's highest office development rate to date. In the City of London, directly to the east of Westminster, office developments attract a CIL rate of £75 per sq m. A rate of £45 per sq m has been proposed in Camden, directly to the north, and office development in Kensington and Chelsea, immediately west of Westminster, will be charged a proposed nil rate.

According to the Estates Gazette report, property developers' representative group the Westminster Property Association (WPA) said earlier this month that developers were concerned about the potential impacts of high CIL charging rates.  

WPA chairman Daniel Van Gelder said that the group was "alarmed at the disproportionate levels of CIL that have been proposed by [the Council]".

"Our main concern is that the levels will significantly impact the amount of affordable housing being built and the support of direct improvements to public realm in Westminster," added Van Gelder.

The public consultation on the PDCS ends on 31 October.