Examiner recommends Surrey CIL charging schedule for approval

Out-Law News | 16 Sep 2014 | 5:00 pm | 1 min. read

An independent examiner has recommended Spelthorne Borough Council’s draft Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) draft charging schedule (DCS) for approval, subject to minor modifications.

In a report dated 8 September (9-page / 481 KB PDF), planning inspector Terrence Kemmann-Lane said that the Council had “sufficient evidence to support the [DCS]” and could “show that the levy is set at a level that will not put the overall development of the area at risk”. The inspector recommended that the schedule be approved in its published form, subject only to a slight alteration to a map showing the location of the proposed charging zones.

The inspector found "no evidence" to support claims that the proposed rates would have a negative impact on the viability of smaller residential developments, or that an additional residential charging zone with a reduced rate should be created around a major residential scheme anticipated in Kempton Park.

Kemmann-Lane also said that "little or no evidence" had been provided in support of contentions that the proposed charge for retail "would put an unrealistic financial burden on new large-scale retail developments".

Overall the inspector was satisfied that "the Council has had regard to detailed evidence on infrastructure planning and the economic viability evidence of the development market in Spelthorne Borough".

The DCS (8-page / 661 KB PDF) contains plans to divide the Council’s administrative area into three charging zones for residential developments and to set separate rates for schemes that are subject to its affordable housing policy.

For schemes of fewer than 15 homes, to which the Council's affordable housing policy does not apply, the DCS sets out proposed rates of £100 per square metre in Zone 1, covering Stanwell and Stanwell Moor; £140 in Zone 2, covering Staines-upon-Thames, Ashford and Laleham; and £160 per sq m in Zone 3, covering Shepperton and Sunbury on Thames.

The Council's affordable housing policy applies to developments of 15 or more homes. Such developments would be subject to a nil rate levy in Zone 1; a rate of £40 per sq m in Zone 2; and a rate of £60 per sq m in Zone 3.

Purpose built student accommodation and retail developments comprising "out of centre larger convenience based supermarkets and superstores and retail warehousing" with a net retail selling space of more than 280 sq m would be charged at a borough-wide rate of £120 per sq m under the DCS.

A draft nil rate levy has been set for office, commercial and all other uses.

The Council said that it expects to approve the DCS in December. No date has yet been proposed for its adoption.