EDDC spending £3.5 million in Exmouth: Tory gets the spotlight, Independent has reservations … dog, tail and wagging again?

Here’s Tory Skinner waxing lyrical about £1.5 million for Exmouth College (though Tigger Nick Hookway has concerns):


and here’s news of cash for the completion of a road in Dinham Way – with Skinner again seeming to have the biggest voice and Hookway again expressing reservations:


Tail … dog … wagging … again?

And so near general election time.

And when will other towns and villages get their shares of Community Infrastructure Levy goes into one big pot rather than being locality-based like Section 106?

Government to allow Community Infrastructure Levy to fund big projects

Oooh … just in time for Cranbrook’s latest expansion plans! AND when councils all over the country are declaring a climate emergency and trying to avoid unsustainable projects. Catch 22 there for TiggerTories!

Or perhaps it will go to a new National Park – lol.

“Councils will be required to report on the agreements reached with housing developers to pay for infrastructure, under new rules laid in Parliament this week.

Housing Minister Kit Malthouse claimed that “confusing and unnecessarily over-complicated” rules were being simplified, so that communities would know exactly how much developers were paying for infrastructure in their area.

Councils will have to set out how the money will be spent “enabling residents to see every step taken to secure their area is ready for new housing”.

The Government also claimed that the changes would make it faster for councils to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy in the first place.

Restrictions are to be eased to allow councils to fund single, larger infrastructure projects from the cash received from multiple developments, “giving greater freedom to deliver complex projects at pace”, it added.

The Minister of State said: “Communities deserve to know whether their council is fighting their corner with developers – getting more cash to local services so they can cope with the new homes built.

“The reforms not only ensure developers and councils don’t shirk their responsibilities, allowing residents to hold them to account – but also free up councillors to fund bigger and more complicated projects over the line.

“The certainty and less needless complexity will lead to quicker decisions.”

The regulations will be debated once parliamentary time allows.

The Government has also published its response to the views received in its technical consultation on developer contributions reform.”


Infrastructure: Shortfall of £270m over period of Local Plan says external auditor

“Appendix A page 39

Click to access 180118bpauditgovernaceoperationalrisk.pdf

“Current estimates show that there will be a £270 million shortfall in infrastructure over the period of the Local Plan. Changes in legislation are needed to address this albeit a CIL charging schedule review is underway and may improve the situation. Fundamentally the current system relies on funding from other sources and infrastructure providers and so pressure needs to be put in bodies such as DCC, NHS etc to help fund infrastructure projects in the district.”

Twiss in charge of infrastructure money

Stakeholders? Bet it isn’t us but developers he’s talking about! Exmouth’s Queen’s Drive access for Grenadier, “improved access” to Feniton, Gittisham and Cranbrook western extension here we come!

“Since September last year, EDDC has been charging Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on certain types of new development.

The council passes 15 per cent of this income, or 25 per cent if a neighbourhood plan has been completed, to town or parish councils, with the remainder to be spent by EDDC.

The council is now inviting stakeholders involved in the delivery of infrastructure to bid for this cash by September 22, with a final decision to be made in February 2018.

Councillor Phil Twiss, EDDC’s portfolio holder for strategic development and partnerships, said: “The CIL is a fairer, faster and more transparent way of funding infrastructure delivery.

“It provides more certainty than the current Section 106 system, which is negotiated on a site by site basis.

“However, unlike 106 money, CIL money can be spent anywhere in the district.

“Unfortunately, the projected income from CIL falls a long way short of the total infrastructure costs required to deliver the Local Plan.

“This is because the legislation requires the charges to be set based on what is viable for developments to pay rather than what is required to deliver the necessary infrastructure.

“CIL was designed to be matched with funds from other sources in order to deliver projects and so difficult decisions will need to be made in terms of prioritising projects and projects should demonstrate what other funding would be used in addition to CIL.

“The CIL pot is never going to be able to meet all demands made on it and we will have a robust and rigorous qualification process in place to ensure that the money is well spent and in the right places.”


Council development gain mechanism flawed says RTPI

“The methods used to capture development gain for local communities are inadequate, the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) has said.
It has commissioned research to see how the section106 and community infrastructure levy (CIL) regimes compare to alternatives used abroad to capture the uplift in land value resulting from planning permission or public investment on or near a piece of land.

CIL was found ineffective by a working group that reported to ministers in February.

The RTPI’s project will compare the current mechanisms with a simple tariff mechanism and two variants of the impact fee approach used in North America.
Each approach’s ability to raise money, and its attractiveness and ease of implementation will be tested via interviews with planners, planning consultants, lawyers, valuers and developers.

RTPI president Stephen Wilkinson said: “Infrastructure is critical to housing delivery and economic growth. At a time when public finance is squeezed we have to look at new funding models to ensure infrastructure can be built at the speed and scale we need.

“We are missing a trick by not accessing the vast potential of rising land values which currently go directly to landowners. Rising land values are a reasonable place to look for infrastructure funding and international evidence suggests there are fairer, more effective ways of sharing this gain.”

He said the present methods successfully clawed back some uplift but did not allow “local authorities to be proactive by using rising land values to fund land assembly and deliver housing”.


Another railway station for Cranbrook?

Just how big is Cranbrook going to be?

Just how are other towns and villages going to benefit from development in the East Devon if Cranbrook gets all the funding?


Community Infrastructure Levy rules likely to change as developers don’t like them

Developers don’t like it, so, of course, it has to go.

The government’s specially appointed task force is to call for a radical overhaul of the community infrastructure levy six years after it was introduced.

It will recommend a major policy U-turn, stripping CIL back to its original purpose by funding local infrastructure with a simple, national base tax on all new developments.

Section 106 charges would return for infrastructure requirements on large developments.

The changes are expected to be considered after parliament’s summer recess. The recommendations come from the Department for Communities and Local Government’s CIL review panel, set up as an independent working group chaired by former British Property Federation chief executive Liz Peace.

Changes are likely to need primary legislation and could be inserted into the Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill. …

… Barratt Developments’ group land and planning director Philip Barnes said: “We were hoping that when CIL was introduced it would give us more clarity and certainty, but actually we are finding we often have to negotiate s106 on top of CIL. If these changes were introduced they would give developers greater flexibility, whichcould speed up the delivery of larger sites.”

Details yet to be determined include how the base tariff would be set, whether any types of development would be exempt, and howmedium-sized developments could avoid being hit by both CIL and s106 requirements.

CBRE’s chairman of UK planning Stuart Robinson said: “The key questions will be, who will set the tariff and on what basis? And how will does affordable housing fit in?”

Simon Ricketts, partner at law firm King & Wood Mallesons, said he would not want a lower CIL rate subsidised by higher s106 payments. He added: “If there is a shortfall between what is needed and a new, low CIL, that should not come from s106, which would add extra complexity.”


Community Infrastructure Levy – 2

If CIL replaces Section 106 levy, the district council can put the money received from CIL and spend it wherever and on whatever infrastructure it wishes – in the past S106 money had to be spent close to the particular development.

This means, for example, if most developments take place in Sidmouth, the money could all be spent in Cranbrook.

However, a proportion of CIL money is supposed to any town or parish where a development takes place when it has a neighbourhood plan in place.

Using new powers introduced in the Localism Bill, the Government will require charging authorities to allocate a meaningful proportion of levy revenues raised in each neighbourhood back to that neighbourhood. This will ensure that where a neighbourhood bears the brunt of a new development, it receives sufficient money to help it manage those impacts. It complements the introduction of other powerful new incentives for local authorities that will ensure that local areas benefit from development they welcome.

Local authorities will need to work closely with neighbourhoods to decide what infrastructure they require, and balance neighbourhood funding with wider infrastructure funding that supports growth. They will retain the ability to use the levy income to address the cumulative impact on infrastructure that may occur further away from the development.”

Of course, as always, exceptions will be allowed to avoid it:

Given the importance of ensuring that the levy does not prevent otherwise desirable development, the regulations provide that charging authorities have the option to offer a process for giving relief from the levy in exceptional circumstances where a specific scheme cannot afford to pay the levy. A charging authority wishing to offer exceptional circumstances relief in its area must first give notice publicly of its intention to do so. A charging authority can then consider claims for relief on chargeable developments from landowners on a case by case basis, provided the following conditions are met.

Firstly, a section 106 agreement must exist on the planning permission permitting the chargeable development. Secondly, the charging authority must consider that the cost of complying with the section 106 agreement is greater than the levy’s charge on the development and that paying the full charge would have an unacceptable impact on the development’s economic viability. Finally, relief must not constitute a notifiable state aid.”

Click to access 1897278.pdf

Rush to avoid Community Infrastructure Levy?

According to Official Notices in the press, Community Infrastructure Levy will become payable to EDDC from 1 September 2016. This is charged per square metre and is in bands with Cranbrook being lowest and Sidmouth being highest.

Should we expect a rush to get planning permissions past the Development Management Committee before 31 August? Would this explain why Bovis is rushing through its application for phase 2 of its Seaton development where it wants zero affordable housing? Will we see the Pegasuslife Knowle application done and dusted before the end of August too?

Community Interest Levy – we need a public list of projects the money will be spent on!

Now that CIL is a reality in East Devon, we (i.e. those of us who are not in the EDDC cabinet) need to see how we can make it work for us. It will be difficult.

The levy is charged on a square metre basis for all new development, though there is still some complex crossover with the old Section 106 charging system. Different levies are charged in different areas: in some parts of Cranbrook it is zero, whereas Sidmouth attracts one of the highest levies.

Few people realise that at least 15% of the levy should be rebated by EDDC to the town or village involved – 25% if that town or village has a Neighbourhood Plan in place. Indeed, ALL of it can go to a place which solely suffers the downside of development (think here Sidford and Sidbury).

Of course, knowing our district council, our majority party will already be closely examining the loopholes to see if they can work for them.

One such loophole is that – of course – there will be exemptions. The CIL rules mean that all such exemptions must be advertised. Watch the small print of your local newspapers where, no doubt, the same old names will crop up with many and varied reasons why they should not pay up.

Another unfortunate loophole is that a council can keep quiet about what they spend the money on – and it can be spent anywhere in a district.

RED FLAG: anywhere – for example, the money raised could find itself 100% directed say towards only Honiton, or the Blackdown Hills or Cranbrook.

RED FLAG: Councils are encouraged (but not obliged) to make a list of the infrastructure projects it wants to spend its CIL pot on. Or it can have no list and just dip into the pot whenever it feels like it.

RED FLAG: Will we be “consulted” about what we want the money spent on? Dream on.

RED FLAG: will EDDC try to interfere on what towns or villages spend the money on. If it ever trickles down to them as, in some places where CIL operates, they have yet to see a penny of their money, for reasons unexplained to them – maybe the developers dragging heels and not paying the district and the district turning a blind eye?

RED FLAG: What are you betting our council drags its heels on such a list and that, if it and when it considers where CIL will be spent, it will be decided by a forum, or working party or think tank that meets in secret and has no agendas or minutes.

For a primer on CIL, see here:

Click to access 1897278.pdf