Slowly but surely the Local Authorities in the south are rolling out their proposed Community Infrastructure Levy development charges (Need a reminder about CIL? Read our briefing note here…). They are all beginning to follow a very familiar pattern – hefty charges on big retail and residential development and everything else gets let off the hook.

West Dorset and Weymouth and Portland, working together, are the latest to publish a preliminary schedule. Again they follow the same pattern with larger retail units (those over 280 sqm – the Sunday trading threshold) due to pay £100 per square metre, residential dwellings £93 per sqm and everything else nil. The only innovation here is that they propose to give discounts to restricted dwellings – holiday lets 30% and agricultural or similar workers dwellings 50%. This is the first time I have seen this and on the face of it rather suggests that at the moment everywhere else these kinds of dwellings will be stung for the full residential development levy (affordable housing units have blanket nationwide exemption). Let’s hope that Bournemouth Borough Council take note of this as in Bournemouth new holiday apartments are a popular replacement for crumbling out-of-date hotels. But with the finished units worth only 50-70% of open market properties viability would definitely be affected by a full levy charge.

The preliminary draft charging schedule is published now for a six-week consultation period. Any responses should be returned by 27 July.

It seems that confusion still abounds out there on the Community Infrastructure Levy – if you have any CIL queries then do please give us a call.