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Monday 25 September 2017

Council launches second consultation on levy to boost development infrastructure

Cheshire East Council has launched a second consultation on a proposed planning levy to help fund new community facilities and infrastructure.

The funds raised would be used to support local development set out in the authority’s Local Plan.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) would be payable once new developments start construction and is calculated per square metre of eligible floor space.

CIL would complement the long established system of Section 106 agreements, whereby developers are required to help fund developments’ supporting infrastructure, such as roads, schools and medical facilities.

Following initial consultation in the spring and updated market evidence, the draft charging schedule sets out the council’s position on potential future CIL rates in the borough.

The CIL consultation sets out the various charging rates that would apply for new development, alongside different charging zones throughout the borough. These zones are based on the costs and viability of new development, rather than the cost of new infrastructure.

The draft charging schedule divides Cheshire East into five charging zones for residential development – ranging from a zero rate in many built-up areas through to £168 (per square metre).

Business development and new shops are proposed to be zero rated, apart from retail development at Handforth Dean and the Grand Junction Retail Park, in Crewe.

Government is currently reviewing the national operation of CIL and is expected to announce the outcomes of this review and any changes in its autumn Budget statement. In developing a CIL charge, the council intends to keep its approach to CIL under review in the light of any future changes to its overall operation.

The consultation runs for six weeks from Monday (September 25) until November 6, 2017. Full details can be found via the council’s website at:

Councillor Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and

planning, said: “Our borough is growing and, following the successful adoption of our Local Plan, we want to ensure that sufficient funding is in place to pay for new community facilities – the roads, schools and recreational spaces that residents will need in future.

“A Community Infrastructure Levy provides one way of contributing to infrastructure and is a fair and consistent method of funding. I would like to thank our residents, businesses and other stakeholders for providing their responses on our initial proposals on the CIL last spring, which have been taken account of in this updated work.

“We are keen to engage with all stakeholders with an interest in new developments to ensure we set the right rates for the different parts of our borough. As a council we recognise that future changes may be proposed by government in the autumn statement regarding CIL and this work puts us in a good place to respond to any changes in the overall operation of a Community Infrastructure Levy.”

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