Views sought on proposed charges for infrastructure payments

A first draft of the charges that developers will have to pay for infrastructure improvements in local communities has been published for consultation.

The consultation on the draft Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), known as the ‘Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule’, will run from 27 March to 15 May.

Based on the size, type and location of new development, the proposed charges would be used to support development by helping to fund transport improvements, upgrading parks or open spaces, schools or health facilities.

This consultation gives residents and businesses the opportunity to give their feedback as to whether they think the draft CIL rates have been set at the right level. It’s an important milestone in progressing the CIL in Leeds and gaining more infrastructure funding for the city.

Councillor Peter Gruen, executive member for neighbourhoods, planning and support services said:

“Leeds is a city which wants to attract investment and plans to grow substantially over the next 10 to 15 years in accordance with our draft core strategy. However, that scale of growth brings pressure for infrastructure investment, including local facilities such as schools and open spaces.

“In proposing the draft charges we have tried to strike the right balance between generating funds to help pay for that infrastructure and ensuring that Leeds remains attractive to investors.

“We look forward to receiving views on whether we have got this balance right. I want to stress that this is only the first round of consultation and represents a genuine opportunity for dialogue before the council finalises its position.”

The Preliminary Draft CIL rates are based on viability work undertaken for the council by GVA. Other evidence has also been assessed, including the amounts of money the council currently receives in section 106 agreements, market conditions, and infrastructure requirements. This produced a range of CIL rates for different uses in different parts of the city.

The council has set rates which are not expected to harm the overall viability of development in the city in this current difficult economic period.

The council will consider all the comments it receives before publishing its draft charging schedule later in the year. Representations to that draft will then be considered by an independent examiner who must approve the proposals before they can be finally adopted by the council.

It is hoped to complete this process so that the CIL charge can go live by April 2014. Decisions on exactly how and where the CIL will be spent have yet to be made, and therefore detailed spending issues are not a part of this current consultation.

Copies of the CIL consultation documents are in all the libraries and One Stop Centres, the Development Enquiry Centre in the Leonardo Building (2 Rossington Street, LS2 8HD), and at http://www.leeds.gov.uk/council/Pages/Community-Infrastructure-Levy.aspx. Details of three consultation events are also on the council’s website, and consultation responses should be sent to ldf@leeds.gov.uk.

Notes for Editors:

  • The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new tariff based system that will apply to new development, introduced by the Planning Act of 2008.

  • It will partly replace the existing system of planning obligations (Section 106 Agreements), particularly for those infrastructure projects that require funding from a number of different sources.

  • The CIL will therefore be used to help pay for things such as schools, greenspace and public transport schemes.

  • S106 agreements will remain to address necessary site specific requirements.

For media enquiries please contact:

Amanda Burns, Leeds City Council press office (0113) 395 1577

email: amanda.l.burns@leeds.gov.uk