Liability to pay CIL

Anyone can assume a liability to pay Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) before (but not after) the development commences. Similarly, the assumed liability can be withdrawn, before (but not after) the development commences. Additionally, an assumed liability can be transferred to another person no later than when the final CIL payment is due.

If no-one assumes the liability to pay CIL, the liability is apportioned by the local authority between the owners of each ‘material interest’ at the commencement of the development, based on open market values (assuming that the development has been completed). A ‘material interest’ means the freehold or a lease which has more than seven years to run when planning permission first permits development.

The obligation to pay an assumed CIL liability is triggered on commencement of a development and ceases on death (if the deceased assumed liability to pay CIL) before development commences. The standard payment period is 60 days, following the intended commencement date of the development. However, the local authority can have an instalment policy if it wishes, in which case CIL will be payable in accordance with that policy (which must be published on the local authority website).

If the liability to pay CIL is not assumed, CIL must be paid in full on the intended commencement date of the development.

Where planning permission is phased, each phase of the development is treated as if it were a separate development for CIL purposes. This can be helpful in effectively phasing the payment of CIL.

Payment of CIL can be made in cash or in kind. If payment is made in kind, the local authority may accept payments of land (including existing buildings or structures) if certain conditions are met, for example, an agreement to make the land payment is entered into before development is commenced.

CIL payments made in respect of a development that has commenced but has not been completed can be credited against the CIL liability for a revised scheme under a new planning permission, on all or part of the same land. This CIL credit is known as abatement. However, no refund is payable under the abatement provisions if a later development scheme has a lower CIL liability than the one which was first paid on the site.

Note that the charging and collecting local authority is usually the same body – except in London, where the boroughs collect the Mayor’s levy on the Mayor’s behalf.

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