Out-Law News | 25 Feb 2015 | 4:38 pm | 1 min. read
Following an examination hearing held last month, examiner William Fieldhouse issued his report (15-page / 209 KB PDF) on the DCS this month. He said the DCS provided "an appropriate basis for the collection of the levy in the city", subject to minor modifications. He also said that the Council had "sufficient evidence to support the schedule" and could show that the proposed rates would "not put the overall development of the area at risk".
Whilst Fieldhouse found most of the assumptions used in the Council's CIL viability study to be "appropriate", he considered that the figure for the land acquisition cost of large sites was "unrealistically low". The inspector, therefore, recommended that the proposed CIL rate of £15 per square metre for developments of 500 homes or more was reduced to £0 per sq m "in order to ensure that their viability is not compromised".
Fieldhouse recommended that the words 'strategic sites' were deleted from the DCS category named 'strategic sites (500 dwellings or more)', since the rate was "not meant to apply only to the strategic sites identified in the [Council's] core strategy".
The inspector also recommended that the DCS was clarified by the omission of references to the amount of floorspace in the names of the three types of retail development it included. Fieldhouse felt that a fuller definition of the uses could more usefully be provided in the footnotes to the DCS.
The Council has indicated that the modified CIL schedule will be adopted and implemented in April.