Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

When is CIL payable?

The grant of planning permission will trigger the operation of the CIL regime and that the CIL liability thereby arising will only become payable as and when the development is commenced. 

Definitions of ‘chargeable development’ and ‘planning permission’ for the purpose of CIL 

Under CIL Reg.9, chargeable development for the purpose of CIL “is the development for which planning permission is granted”. CIL Reg.5 further clarifies the meaning of “planning permission” in CIL terms, which include developments granted by general consent, such as permitted developments.  

The CIL regime varies for grant of planning permission and deemed grant under a general consent 

The CIL regime operates differently depending on whether there is an actual grant of planning permission or a deemed grant under a general consent. With an actual grant it will trigger the issue and service of a CIL liability notice by the collecting authority upon receiving a CIL Assumption of Liability Form. On the other hand, with a general consent the first main step should be the service of a notice of chargeable development by the developer or landowner, which in turn will result in a liability notice.  

View the standard CIL process flow chart (para.120 of CIL PPG).

CIL forms can be downloaded from Planning Portal.

What kind of development does not pay the levy? 

1) CIL exemption for minor development (where no CIL claim form is required): 

Although many developments are CIL chargeable, CIL liability does not arise when new developments meet at least one of the following criteria: 

  • the increase in new build floorspace (gross internal area) of granted developments is below 100 sqm AND it does not consist of any dwellings of any size (under Reg.42 minor development exemptions); even where the dwelling is below 100sqm, this exemption does not apply
  • conversion of a single dwellinghouse to use as two or more dwellinghouse, without new build extension involved (under Reg.6(1))
  • buildings (not rooms) into which people do not normally go (under Reg.6(2))
  • buildings into which people go only intermittently for the purpose of inspecting or maintaining fixed plant or machinery (under Reg.6(2))
  • structures which are not buildings, such as pylons and wind turbines
  • specific uses and developments subject to “zero CIL rate” identified in Southwark’s CIL charging schedule (see Chapter 6) and the Mayor’s charging schedule 

2) CIL exemption or relief (where CIL claim forms are required): 

Health services and education use (provided under the Education Acts or as an institution of higher education) are zero rate under both the Mayor’s and the council’s CIL charging schedule. 

In addition, certain developments can claim an exemption or relief where the relevant criteria are met and the correct process (see chapter 3) is followed: 

  • householder residential annexes and extensions 
  • ‘self-build’ houses and flats, which are built or commissioned by ‘self-builders’ 
  • social housing that meets the relief criteria set out in regulation 49 or 49A (as amended by the 2014 Regulations), the 2015 Regulations and the 2020 (No. 2) Regulations) 
  • charitable development that meets the relief criteria set out in regulations 43 to 48 

Please note that in order to benefit from relief listed as above, applicants are required to apply for and obtain exemption successfully prior to commencement of the development. Where relief is granted, applicants need to submit a commencement notice before development commences. Procedure and the relevant forms to be filled and submitted can be found in Chapter 3: Process and forms. 

CIL Reg.7 specifically defines “Commencement of development” to be “the earliest date on which any material operation begins to be carried out on the relevant land”. CIL Reg.2 defines the meaning of “relevant land” as “the land to which the planning permission relates” and for phased consent, “the land to which the phase relates”. It's different from s106 agreements, where clauses can be added to exclude certain material operations (such as demolition) as “commencement of development”. 

Page last updated: 14 December 2021

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