WHAT IS COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY?
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge introduced under the Planning Act 2008 and brought into force through regulations in 2010. The levy was introduced in Cheshire East from 1st March 2019 following the approval of the borough council’s CIL charging policy. Under this policy, CIL is charged on CIL liable residential development within Knutsford at £71 per sqm on the greenbelt and strategic housing sites allocated in the Local Plan 2017 and at £57 per sqm elsewhere in the Town.
Cheshire East Council must pay 25% of the CIL collected in Knutsford to the Town Council. Payments are made twice per year and whilst the receipts for most development will likely be minor, significant receipts will be generated on the strategic development sites on Manchester Road and Longridge.
The council has discretion on what it can spend CIL funds on, namely:
- The provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or
- Anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area
If the council does not spend its levy share within 5 years of receipt, or does not spend it on initiatives that support the development of the area, Cheshire East Council may require it to repay some or all of those funds.
The Town Council currently holds CIL funds of £1,638.75.
The council must publish an annual report setting our the receipts, expenditure and balances of CIL.
The first report will be published by December 2021 and cover the 2020-21 financial year.
OUR CIL FRAMEWORK
We know that CIL receipts will create a significant investment into the Knutsford community and present opportunity to deliver a range of long-lasting projects. Whilst we may be the leading organisation for many projects in the community or the organisation which pushes the development of a project (e.g. minor highways projects) there are a number of potential projects which fall squarely under the remit of other organisations.
Our CIL Framework looks to enable the council to facilitate investment in the community through CIL. It enables organisations to put forward costed and deliverable projects for the council to consider adding to a CIL Projects List and we will put our own projects for through the same process.
We want to continue the spirit of the Neighbourhood Plan as a pan-community project and draw in wider expertise from the community so our CIL Projects Advisory Committee will comprise lead councillors and volunteer residents for each theme of the plan. This committee will review all project proposals and make a recommendation to our Finance Committee as to whether a project should be added to the list.
We will look to secure long term community access for any projects delivered with CIL funding; this may be in the form of community use agreements or legal charges. The council may also attach any conditions it considers in the interests of the wider Knutsford community.
The inclusion of a project on the CIL Projects List does not commit the council to fund the project and depending on demand we know there will be worthwhile projects which the CIL available will not be able to fund. Our Finance Committee will review the CIL Projects List following the receipt of CIL funds and may recommend to Council that a project be awarded funding. Funding will not be awarded on a ‘first come first served’ basis and we are under no obligation to fund projects just because we have the funds available to do so.
This framework is new. We will be fully launching it in early 2021.
OUR FUNDING PRIORITIES
DEMONSTRATE VALUE FOR MONEY
• Projects which use CIL funding to attract grant funding
• Projects which minimise the CIL requirement through use of own funds, third party funding and community fundraising
• Projects which utilise robust tendering processes to ensure contracted services are cost effective
DEMONSTRATE COMMUNITY SUPPORT
• Projects which deliver aspirations identified in the Knutsford Neighbourhood Plan
• Projects which have been subject to community consultation
• Projects which can evidence a need in the community
DELIVER LONG-TERM TANGIBLE COMMUNITY BENEFITS
• Projects which safeguard and increase the viability of community assets for long-term community use
• Projects which have a lifespan in excess of 20 years
• Projects which demonstrate the benefit will be sustained with revenue expenditure
• Projects which reduce running costs or increase revenue generation
MITIGATE DETRIMENTAL EFFECTS OF DEVELOPMENT
• Projects which deliver infrastructure identified as being required in the community
• Projects which connect developments to town services and assets
• Projects which address issues generated by developments