When you are buying a house, especially a newly built property, you may hear this phrase or see reference to a Community Infrastructure Levy in your local authority search result prior to exchanging contracts.  It is sometimes known as a “CIL”.

The Community Infrastructure Levy was introduced in April 2010. The latest batch of amendments came into force on 1st September 2019.   The intention being that Local Authorities can place a levy on new development to raise capital to support local infrastructure such as schools and parks, transport and all the things that the introduction of new homes and new families require to support them and the economic growth of the community.  It is envisaged this will become an important source of income for Local Authorities in the future.

Local planning authorities will be empowered – but not required – to levy a charge on most types of new development. The charging rate will be determined by the respective local authority once they have made an assessment of their local needs in line with the funding available from central government.

Planning Agreements such as “Section 106 Agreements” have long been in place between Developers and the Local Authorities. These agreements put in place obligations on the Developer to carry out certain tasks and the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy will not alter that.

The Levy becomes payable on commencement of building work.

A Commencement Notice must be issued to the Local Authority in question to avoid penalty fines.

Some development is eligible for relief or exemption in respect of the Levy (including residential extensions and annexes and self builds). Although strict criteria apply and procedures must be followed.  Further information in this respect is available at gov.uk.

If you are planning a self build or small development or even an extension to your existing or new home and have concerns regarding the Community Infrastructure Levy and the process of applying for relief or exemption, speak to a specialist before proceeding.

If you are buying a new home and plan on extending this in the near future, it is unlikely that the Levy will apply, but do not take a chance, seek confirmation from your Local Authority, Surveyor, Architect or Conveyancing Solicitor BEFORE you proceed to purchase the property.

For advice contact Lorraine or another member of the Residential Team at Ringrose Law on 01529 301300.

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