Out-Law News 1 min. read

Worthing CIL charging schedule approved by examiner

An examiner has recommended that Worthing Borough Council's community infrastructure levy (CIL) draft charging schedule (DCS) is adopted, subject to two minor modifications.

Following an examination hearing held in September, examiner Malcolm Rivett issued his report (12-page / 182 KB PDF) on the DCS last week. He said that the DCS provided an appropriate basis for the collection of CIL in the area, subject to the Council setting a nil rate for residential development in low value areas and excluding ancillary car parking from retail development attracting charges under the schedule.

The Council had proposed in the DCS (11-page / 926 KB PDF) to set a borough-wide rate of £100 per square metre for residential developments. Rivett noted that the evidence supporting the DCS showed that a £100 per sq m charge would make several forms of housing development unviable in low value areas. The Council had argued that charging a separate rate for these areas was unnecessary because little residential development was likely to come forward in these areas regardless of whether a charge was imposed.

Rejecting the Council's argument and recommending a nil charge for residential developments in low value areas, Rivett said: "By imposing a £100 CIL charge it is very likely that this development would not materialise and thus no CIL income would be secured. Conversely, if no CIL were to be charged on residential development in low value areas, little or no CIL income would be foregone but the potential for otherwise viable residential development to come forward to contribute towards housing needs would be significantly increased."

Rivett found that the Council's proposed rate of £150 per sq m for retail developments across the borough was "informed by and consistent with the evidence". However, the inspector recommended that ancillary car parking be specifically excluded from the retail CIL charge, noting that such car parking provision "would be unlikely to add any more value to a development than would an open car park on which CIL would not be levied".

The Council said it intends to implement CIL in early 2015.

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