New levy creates incentive for local areas to benefit from developers

23/2/2021

Runnymede Borough Council logo reversed

New levy creates incentives for local areas to benefit from developers

Developers applying to build homes or offices on land within the vast majority of the Runnymede borough boundary will soon need to pay towards the cost of new infrastructure.

Councillors have just adopted a set of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charges, which are allowed for under the Planning Act.

The money raised will be used to help fund infrastructure like improvements to roads, schools, parks, playgrounds and other community facilities. 

Benefit for communities

Within the CIL rules there is an important incentive for communities to organise themselves so they can benefit from the developers' payments.

Areas of the Borough which have a Neighbourhood Plan in place can have up to 25 per cent of the total payment from an application spent in the area. Communities which do not have a plan will have up to 15 per cent spent within their area. In both cases, spending would be agreed in consultation with residents where possible.

The Thorpe community were the first community in Runnymede to develop and take through independent examination their Neighbourhood Plan.  A referendum on whether the Thorpe Neighbourhood Plan will be brought into force as part of the development plan for the area will take place on Thursday 6 May at the same time as the borough, county and Police and Crime  Commissioner elections.  

Three other communities are in the process of developing a Neighbourhood Plan:

  • Englefield Green,
  • Ottershaw, and
  • Virginia Water.

Cllr Myles Willingale, Chairman of the Council's Planning Committee, said: "I would encourage all local areas of the Borough to think about how they can work together to set up a neighbourhood forum and create a plan. The benefit is significant and a prime example of how the Council is supporting local people by giving them a direct way to influence improvements where they live.

"The rules around approving or rejecting planning applications are strict and set by Government and local planning policies, but the ability for us to set a charge means there should now be a level of benefit from the majority of successful applications."

From 1 March 2021 organisations submitting a planning application that proposes more than 100 square metres of additional floor space, or one or more new homes, will need to pay the charge unless they are exempt.

Exemptions are limited but include social housing schemes, charitable development, residential extensions, annexes and self-build housing.

The Community Infrastructure Levy is a non-negotiable charge, which is calculated on a pounds per square metre basis. Different charges exist in different areas of the Borough.

The CIL Charging Schedule and further guidance on the charge is available to view on the Council's website at https://www.runnymede.gov.uk/CIL.

Read more about how to Apply for planning permission and our Planning advice.

Planning applications for developments which fit the CIL criteria must be accompanied by a 'CIL Additional Information form' which is available on the Planning Portal website (form 1). Without this form the application will be invalid.