Civic centre planning consultants PooleBorough of Poole: The Council have been operating the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for two years now and are currently in the process of reviewing the rates. Last week (22 January 2015) the Head of Planning and Regeneration presented  a report to the Council’s Economy Overview and Scrutiny Committee which has given us a first sight of what they may have in store for developers in the Borough of Poole come next summer.

What they seem to be proposing took us back somewhat. At present the town is split into three zones with residential development rates of £150 per sqm, £100 per sqm and £75 per sqm. They are now considering splitting the Borough into five main areas with the following residential development rates:

  • Sandbanks (the peninsular itself from Sandacres/Tesco on): £1,300 per sqm
  • Lilliput and Branksome Park: £370 per sqm
  • Town Centre: £60 per sqm
  • North Poole (including Broadstone and Merley): £180 per sqm
  • Rest of Poole: £20 per sqm

There are also special rates for: the former power station site nil; other strategic brownfield sites £30 per sqm; and strategic greenfield sites £200 per sqm.

But wait – you did read that correctly. £1,300 per sqm for Sandbanks. By my reckoning if introduced this would be easily the highest CIL rate in the country, by some considerable margin. The highest rate yet adopted appears to be by the Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea with a residential rate of £750 per sqm for a handful of streets in Knightsbridge. It remains to be seen whether Poole can justify such astronomical rates and get them approved by a Planning Inspector.

They are also considering various additional rates for:

  • Retirement/assisted living £120 per sqm Borough-wide
  • Student Accommodation £50 per sqm Borough-wide
  • Hotels £85 per sqm Borough-wide
  • Retail £250 per sqm Borough-wide except the town centre

It is expected that the Council will formally publish the Preliminary Draft Charging Schedule for consultation at some point in February 2015. Adoption of the new rates is presently timetabled for summer 2016. It is definitely worth Poole developers at least keeping a close eye on the progress of this review if not getting involved in the consultation process.