CIL Will Kill Cornwall
By Eventy - Marketing & PR | Thursday, March 21, 2013, 10:58
A Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) has been proposed by Cornwall Council and is currently in its six week consultation period.
If approved, the new tax will impose a charge of £100 per square metre on housing developments ranging from small scale domestic extensions to major housing schemes.
"The newly proposed CIL will kill Cornwall's construction industry," warns Justin Dodge, the Managing Director of Cornwall's largest architectural practice, CSA Architects.
"This CIL is a development tax and will affect every single person who works in the construction industry and those businesses that work with them. "
The CIL aims to raise money from construction to pay for infrastructure. The levy would be paid by developers in addition to the Section 106 contributions that they make today.
The tax would also be levied in addition to the affordable housing quota. This, as Justin explains, is the crux of the issue.
"Only last month, Cornwall Council voted on building 48,000 new homes in the county. There are 27,000 families on waiting lists and an acute need for affordable housing. This proposed development tax would make it totally unviable to build affordable homes."
Earlier this month Mid Devon District Council's proposed charge of £90 per square metre for residential development was rejected by an examiner from the Government Planning Inspectorate, David Hogger.
Mr Hogger concluded that the proposed rate did not reflect the council's target for the provision of affordable housing as set out in its development plan, "and because the rate is set too high, there is a serious risk to affordable housing provision and thus the overall development of the area."
Mr Hogger went on to recommend a charge of £40 per square metre, less than half the initial proposed rate.
Justin has exactly the same concerns and believes that it's not the principle of CIL that's wrong but the proposed rate of £100 per square metre.
"Cornwall is one of the poorest regions in the UK and the Cornwall Council proposal cites the highest proposed rate of any CIL in the country.
Construction here has recently developed green shoots. The proposed CIL will act as weed killer.
If this CIL is adopted, in its current form, we might as well shut up shop; this will sterilize development in the county. It affects all companies and individuals associated with the construction industry, from architects, solicitors, home-owners, construction workers, sub-contractors, landowners and people waiting for affordable homes.
The irony is that the government wants to save money by further taxing development to pay for infrastructure that they used to fund, but the extent of CIL charges proposed here in Cornwall will kill development altogether.
Undoubtedly, this will result in increased unemployment in the construction industry and will therefore require further government subsidy and need for affordable homes, at a time when the government cannot afford it.
This is an ill-conceived proposal and a clear example of the government not knowing what the right and left hand are doing, at a time when their primary objective is economic growth. This will have serious adverse implications on the construction industry, one of the largest employment sectors in the country. We will resolutely oppose the current proposals."
It is not just the construction industry and related businesses that will suffer. Householder applications represent the largest number of planning applications in Cornwall, so thousands of homeowners who would like to extend their homes will have to pay the additional tax of £100 per square metre if the CIL is approved.
Justin and other members of construction businesses throughout Cornwall are joining together in a representative forum called Cornwall for Construction. This will be a collective voice for construction related businesses throughout Cornwall. Their first campaign opposes the proposed CIL and is called 'CIL Cornwall Will Kill Cornwall.'
To find out more, or if this affects you and you would like to join the forum and campaign, please contact Justin on 01872 265310 or email him via
email@example.com or follow on Twitter @Cornwall4Construct