Sheffield CIL charging schedule approved by examiner

Out-Law News | 06 Mar 2015 | 5:24 pm | 1 min. read

An examiner has recommended that Sheffield City Council's community infrastructure levy (CIL) draft charging schedule (DCS) be adopted, subject to three modifications.

Following an examination hearing held in January, examiner Robert Mellor issued his report (15-page / 189 KB PDF) on the DCS last week. He said the DCS provided "an appropriate basis for the collection of the levy in the area", subject to minor modifications. He also said that the Council had "sufficient evidence to support the schedule" and could show that the levy was "set at a level that [would] not put the overall development of the area at risk".

Whilst Mellor found that the Council's viability report justified the proposed residential charges in four of the five charging zones set out in the DCS, he concluded that there was "insufficient evidence to justify a [£10 per square metre] CIL charge in Zone 2", which covers the east of the city. The inspector, therefore, recommended that the charge in Zone 2 be reduced to nil.

The inspector said the Council had admitted making an error in not excluding ancillary parking for retail development from CIL charge. He recommended that the DCS be changed to correct the error.

Mellor noted that the DCS had proposed including cinemas under the category of 'out of town leisure developments', but that no viability evidence had been provided in relation to the costs of cinema development. He also noted that there was confusion as to the meaning of 'out of town' under the DCS and that no map had been produced defining which areas would be covered by the description.

The inspector, therefore, recommended that a £10 per sq m charge for 'out of town leisure developments' was deleted from the schedule, resulting in the inclusion of such developments under a nil charge for 'all other uses'. Mellor said that any charge for the developments would have been unlikely to generate significant income in any case, "given that out of town built development for leisure in Sheffield is unlikely to proceed as there is a policy presumption against most build development in the green belt".

The Council has indicated that it aims adopt the modified CIL schedule (7-page / 234 KB PDF) and implement CIL by 15 July 2015.