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New levy ensures communities will benefit from development

House builders will have to invest more in the local community when they build in Castle Point following the implementation of a new development charge.

At a meeting of Council on Wednesday (22 March), Members approved the adoption of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) rates across the borough.

The move follows Government Planning Inspectors having given the go-ahead for the Council to implement the CIL after a detailed examination of its proposal.

It means that, from May 1, a charge will be placed on all new residential and retail buildings when they receive planning permission.

The charge will vary dependent on the size and location of the build with all money going directly to the Council to fund infrastructure projects including education, health, sports facilities and open space improvement.

Cllr Warren Gibson, Cabinet Member for Strategic Planning, said: “We have listened to the concerns of local residents and are seeking to secure infrastructure investment when new development occurs by all means available to us.

“The CIL is another tool in our armoury to ensure that when development takes place money is available to help communities cope with its impact and benefit from it in some way.”

The Community Infrastructure Levy will apply to all development, and it is estimated that CIL will generate several million pounds every year.

Approximately £3-4m will be accrued prior to the new Castle Point Plan being implemented.

Cllr Gibson continued: “We did not want to lose out on a single pound of money we could use to bring about infrastructure improvements. We have therefore been very proactive in our drive to implement CIL.

“We are just beginning the development of the Castle Point Plan, which will replace the Council’s existing Local Plan from 1998. Officers worked hard to prove to the planning examiner that the current plan was a sound basis on which to implement the CIL immediately. “

A full list of the CIL charges are available on the planning section of the Council’s website.