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Community Infrastructure Levy
Stoke St Gregory (Unofficial Site)
WHAT IS CIL?
Community Infrastructure Levy is a charge on development that came into force in 2010. The purpose of the CIL is to fund infrastructure to support local development. The money we now have to spend is a direct result of 'Broomfield Park', the new housing development off Willey Road. A certain percentage is kept by the local authority for general infrastructure work, but a certain percentage (in our case £64,000) is transferred to the Town, or Parish Council.
What Can We Spend It On?
CIL monies can be used to support the development of the local area to fund:
"(a) the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or
(b) anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area."
Although there are hundreds of pages dedicated to how the CIL moneys are collected from developers, this is the sum total of government guidance on how the money can be spent. In the early days of CIL use was made of the 'Regulation 123' list of items that could be funded, but the list was abolished with the 2019 CIL Regulations. Rather than having a list of subjects where money could be spent, the new Infrastructure List (part of the annual CIL return) details how CIL money is, or is going to be, spent. [The reasons why the 123 Regulations were removed can be found HERE ] With the removal of Regulation 123 lists, authorities are no longer be restricted in the application of anticipated CIL payments for any specific purpose. Authorities can now allocate CIL funds as they see fit and to re-direct such funds should the need arise. Parish Councils do not have to refer to a specific list, or gain approval from the local authority. They are free to decide how they spend the money, and it is then up to the local authority to challenge the decisions if it feels the money has not been spent in a 'proper way'. The CIL Officer for Somerset West & Taunton, Rebecca Staddon, gave this comment in an email:
"Application of CIL by local (parish) councils
59C. A local council must use CIL receipts passed to it in accordance with regulation 59Aor59B to support the development of the local council’s area, or any part of that area, by funding—
(a) the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or
(b) anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area.
Roads are infrastructure and therefore the parish council can choose to spend their CIL funds on maintaining local roads if they so wish as this would be in accordance with part (a) above. Likewise they may choose to leave this to the Highway Authority to address.
If the parish council determine that the spending of CIL on a capital project is required to address the demands that development has placed on an area then there are no CIL regulations to state that it cannot be spent on church or school premises.
Once the CIL funds are passed from the Council to the parish council they have responsibility to decide how to appropriately spend those funds in accordance with CIL Regulation 59Cabove. They do not have to obtain approval from the Council. The CIL funds do have to be spent within 5 years of receipt or the Council can ask for them to be returned.
A CIL annual return has to be submitted to the Council by each parish council detailing the CIL funds they have received and the CIL funds they have spent and if the Council believes that CIL funds have been spent inappropriately they can ask for the funds to be returned."
Although there are no CIL regulations that prevent the money being spent on highways, churches, schools, or indeed any part of the village infrastructure, there have been questions raised regarding the 1894 Local Government Act. This act forbade the newly formed Parish Councils to 'undertake works' on church property. The debate is still going on. NALC say we can't. The Anglican Church's view can be found HERE. We do, however, have one local example in Pitminster, where CIL funds were used to create a community space within the Parish Church.
If you want to make you own mind up there's an interesting article HERE