Town and parish councils receiving little money from "Boles bung", report says

Out-Law News | 15 Sep 2014 | 5:19 pm | 1 min. read

Town and parish councils have received only a tiny fraction of community infrastructure levy (CIL) revenues since the introduction of rules requiring local planning authorities to pass on money raised from local development, according to a report in Planning Magazine .

The UK government amended the CIL Regulations in April 2013 to require local planning authorities to pay town and parish councils up to 25% of any CIL raised from housing developments in their area. The payments were nicknamed "the Boles bung", after then planning minister Nick Boles said in January 2013 that they were intended "to persuade communities to accept more housebuilding by giving them a tangible share of the benefits it brings".

According to information obtained by Planning Magazine under a freedom of information (FOI) request, a total of £92,000 in CIL funding was received by town and parish councils in the 15 months following the introduction of the rules. This represents only 1% of around £9 million raised by planning authorities in this time.

The report said that only eight of 43 planning authorities that responded to the FOI request had passed any funds to town and parish councils by June 2014, with an average of £1,648 transferred to each of 56 town and parish councils.

Ken Browse, chair of umbrella body the National Association of Local Councils, told Planning Magazine that the figures "confirm our worst fears that the system is in danger of not being fit for purpose and needs an urgent rethink".

However, a Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) spokesman said that low amount transferred could be explained by the fact that CIL receipts were passed on to town and parish councils six months after being collected by planning authorities and "new provisions do not relate to planning permissions granted before the new rules". The DCLG expected funds transferred under the rules to "start at a low base and steadily rise over time", said the spokesman.