CIL Charging Schedule Examinations

NOVEMBER UPDATES:

  • Chiltern and South Bucks Draft CIL Charging Schedule hearing was held on 5 November 2019 (Examiner: Geoff Salter).
  • Arun Draft CIL Charging Schedule hearing was held on 18 October 2019 (Examiner: Nigel Payne).

Recent CIL Charging Schedule examinations include reports produced for the Mayor of London (MCIL2), Cheshire East, Horsham, Torbay and Stroud.

Unlike local plans, the appointment of the examiner is made by the charging authority as opposed to the Secretary of State. As such you are not required to use a government planning inspector but you do need to be satisfied that your chosen examiner is independent of your authority and has appropriate experience and qualifications.

You may have full confidence our CIL examiners fulfil these requirements. IPe examiner Nigel Payne undertook the first ever CIL Examination in the Planning Inspectorate, for Newark, in Summer 2011.

Whether your charging schedule applies a single rate across the authority or is made up of tiered rates for different uses and /or different zones, we can provide a comprehensive examination service backed up by our office support team.

We offer a fixed price option for your CIL examination, which we believe is very competitive, or we can equally work on the traditional day rate basis.

Legal Framework

The legislative framework for CIL has become quite complex and it is important your examiner fully understand this context. The Planning Act 2008 was amended by the sections 114-115 of the Localism Act 2011.The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 have been subject to amendment by statutory instruments in 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2018. Most recently, significant regulatory amendments have come into force on 1 September 2019 (subject to transitional arrangements) coupled with a comprehensive update to the CIL section of the Planning Practice Guidance.

The examiner should establish that:

  • the charging authority has complied with the legislative requirements set out in the Planning Act 2008 and the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (as amended);
  • the draft charging schedule is supported by background documents containing appropriate available evidence;
  • the charging authority has undertaken an appropriate level of consultation;
  • the proposed rate or rates are informed by, and consistent with, the evidence on viability across the charging authority's area; and
  • evidence has been provided that shows the proposed rate or rates would not undermine the deliverability of the plan (see National Planning Policy Framework paragraph 34).

Complex Charging Schedules

Where there is a more complex charging levy scheme, Charging Zone maps attract further regulatory compliance requirements. It is important that the exact extent of the boundaries of the zones must be clear, so that an owner or developer can see into which zone any particular property falls.

Changes to Charging Schedules

Where necessary, to ensure that the schedule is consistent with the evidence, an Examiner can recommend a modification to lower a CIL rate, without the need for consultation, so long as this would not come as a surprise to the Council nor would result in selective assistance.

A modification to increase a CIL rate should only be recommended following public consultation. Such modifications are generally to be avoided but may be appropriate when necessary to ensure consistency with the evidence, where the Council supports the modification and where the alternative would be to not approve the schedule.

Procedure

The procedural principles of examining a charging schedule are much the same as a local plan in terms of an initial an initial paper based examination, which will identify main issues and questions. Pre Hearing Meetings are not needed in most cases.

Hearing session(s) will be needed if any representor is exercising their right to be heard, but in some cases an examination by way of written representation is possible. Hearing sessions are held in an informal round table format and are unlikely to exceed 1-2 days.

The delivery date of the examiner's recommendations will be agreed with the charging authority. This date will factor in IPe's comprehensive Quality Assurance process (full details available on request). A period of 'fact check', by you, to address any minor factual matters in the examiner's recommendations will also be agreed.

We have extensive contacts with a number of highly experienced programme officers, should you decide to source one externally.