CIL BILL?

Pretty good CIL scoop by EGi, not yet denied by anyone.

Apparently two of the CIL working group’s recommendations are that:

– section 106 agreements rather than CIL should be the delivery mechanism for infrastructure in relation to large developments;

– there should be a nationally standard low level of CIL.

The recomendations may be included in the forthcoming Neighbourhood Planning and Infrastructure Bill to the extent that primary legislation would be needed.

They certainly chime with the BPF’s own consultation response.

The cynical would point to CIL working group chair Liz Peace’s former role as chief executive of, er, the BPF. However, that would disregard the strength and independence of the group as a whole on CIL issues:  Gilian Macinnes (PAS), Steve Dennington (Croydon Council), Tom Dobson (Quod), Andrew Whitaker (Home Builders Federation), John Fuller (leader, South Norfolk District Council) and Michael Gallimore (Hogan Lovells). When the real report comes out, it will be worth reading and let’s hope that the Government don’t mangle whatever its recommendations turn out to be.  

But I’m excited already. Wouldn’t be great if we could move to a two tier model:

– for most developments, no section 106 agreements at all, replaced by a combination of (1) CIL and (2) wider use of standardised conditions than planning obligations to secure contributions and site-specific infrastructure. Authorities run scared from using conditions to secure contributions and affordable housing, sometimes without reason (Planning Practice Guidance: “where the six tests will be met, it may be possible use a negatively worded condition to prohibit development authorised by the planning permission until a specified action has been taken (for example, the entering into of a planning obligation requiring the payment of a financial contribution towards the provision of supporting infrastructure“)

– for major complex developments (eg opportunity area sites in London, urban extensions and new settlements), no CIL, replaced by section 106 agreements documenting the most efficient mechanism for delivering necessary infrastructure in a timely way? Not to reduce the financial burden for developers but rather to make their money work harder and go further with efficient timely infrastructure delivery. No more problems over regulations 122 or 123, no more uncertainty as to whether infrastructure will come forward hand in hand with development. 

Section 106 agreements aren’t going away any time soon though: given their forthcoming role as delivery mechanism for starter homes, and with no sign any time yet of any standardised drafting from the Government to discourage the inevitable goldplating and gaming that will arise.  Shame that. 

I fell off the L is for Localism blog a few years ago. Starting over. 

Simon Ricketts 3.6.16

Personal views et cetera