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When embarking on the journey of building a new home, there are numerous considerations to account for, one of which is the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This article aims to provide a comprehensive understanding of the CIL, ensuring that builders and developers are well-informed and compliant with this crucial aspect of property development.

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy?
The Community Infrastructure Levy, commonly known as CIL, is a financial charge imposed by local authorities on new developments. Its primary purpose is to support the development of local infrastructure, thereby accommodating the increased demands that new buildings place on the surrounding area. 

Local authorities are responsible for setting their own CIL rates, which are outlined in a publicly available charging schedule.  For Bromley Council's charging schedule click here, and for Sevenoaks District Council, click here. The levy is applicable primarily in areas where the local authority has established and published these specific rates.

Applicability and Calculation
CIL charges are generally applicable to most new developments that result in an increase in net floor space of 100 square meters or more, or that create a new dwelling. The calculation of the levy is based on several factors including the size and type of the new development, its location, and the prevailing rate set by the local authority.

Payment Schedule
The payment of the CIL is typically required at specific stages of the development process. The local authority will issue a demand notice outlining the amount due and the payment schedule. It is crucial for developers to adhere to these timelines to avoid penalties.

Who Pays the CIL?
Responsibility for paying the CIL generally falls on the developer or the individual undertaking the building project. In some cases, this responsibility might be shared or transferred, depending on the contractual agreements in place.

Exemptions and Relief
There are instances where a new-build house may be exempt from CIL charges. This includes developments like residential annexes, extensions, and self-built houses. However, to qualify for these exemptions, specific criteria must be met, and certain procedures followed. It’s important for builders to understand these conditions and apply for the exemption where eligible.

Enforcement and Compliance
The enforcement of the CIL is the responsibility of the local authority. Failure to comply with the CIL requirements can result in substantial penalties, including surcharges and legal action. Hence, it is imperative for developers to understand their obligations and adhere to the rules set forth.

In summary, the Community Infrastructure Levy is a crucial element in the development process, ensuring that the impact of new buildings on local infrastructure is adequately mitigated. As a developer or individual builder, it is your responsibility to be aware of, and comply with, the CIL regulations. Timely payment and understanding of exemptions can save you from unnecessary penalties and contribute positively to the community’s development. Remember, building a new home is not just about creating a space for living; it's also about contributing responsibly to the growth and sustainability of the local community.

For those new to house building, who are not building for themselves and are looking to profit from their project, factoring this charge into your cost forecasts is imperative.

This article is intended as a guide only. Builders and developers should consult their local authority or a professional advisor for specific advice relating to their project. For more detailed information, the government's official guidance on CIL is an essential resource.  For more information, click here: