The Planning White Paper is proposing abolishing the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) but any changes are a long way off. CIL headaches are going to be around for many more years.
At Plainview Planning we have recently saved our developer client £70,000 across two sites. Here are our top tips:
1) CHECK – Always treble check the Liability Notice. All too often errors are made in the floorspace calculations.
2) KEEP RECORDS – Be sure to keep accurate records of any existing use on the site. Six months of a continuous existing use within the last 3 years can sometimes be used to offset the levy.
3) PREVIOUS OWNER – Evidence of “continuous existing use” can be difficult to source if you have purchased a vacant building. Try to get as much evidence from the vendor as you can before you complete on the purchase.
4) COUNCIL EVIDENCE – In the absence of evidence, be sure to see what evidence the council hold on the property. Do not assume that the Community Infrastructure Levy officer will go looking for this. The onus is on you to find the evidence.
5) APPEAL DEADLINES – If you are going to appeal keep a very close eye on CiL appeal deadlines. Whilst technically the council can offer discretion if a deadline is missed, in our experience discretion is very rarely exercised!