CIL Administration in Small Rural Authorities
Local authorities may question whether they can afford the administration costs of introducing a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), even though the regulations allow them to retain 5% of the money they collect for this purpose. We were asked this question by a National Park Authority and to help answer we researched the approach taken across a sample of local authorities.
The research included interviews with 11 smaller authorities and reference to previous research by MHCLG1 which also relied on interviews with local authorities (although not all were small). Interestingly in most (but not all) cases, once CIL had ‘bedded down’ the 5% allowance was reported as enough to cover the administration of the system. This was so in both our research and in the earlier MHCLG study. However initial setting up costs - which include software purchase, training and installing a new administrative system, as well as prior preparation of reports & consultation, at a time in the process when receipts will be lower may well not be covered by the 5% allowance.
Other broad findings from the research included the importance of:-
- Appointing a lead officer to take main responsibility for what is a set of complex administrative tasks (either as a distinct post or alongside other duties)
- Good inter-departmental procedures and relationships e.g. planning, finance, legal
- The role of the website is getting clear information out to planning applicants
- Understanding which developments are liable for the levy and being familiar with recent appeal cases.
1 ‘The value, impact and delivery of the Community Infrastructure Levy’ Feb 2017 MHCLG and ‘The Incidence, Value and Delivery of Planning Obligations and Community Infrastructure Levy in England in 2016-17’ MHCLG