New levy to fund borough’s growth

Published: Monday 30th July 12

A new development tax system will come into force across Wandsworth later this year which will raise millions towards the costs of new transport, education, health and other community facilities.

The borough's Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule was given final approval earlier this month at a full meeting of the council. It will start being applied to new planning applications from November 1.

CIL will largely replace the existing system whereby developers negotiate payments toward improving local infrastructure on a project-by-project basis.

The new approach is being rolled out across the country as part of Government reforms to the planning regime. Wandsworth is the seventh council to approve its local charging schedule, and only the second borough in London behind Redbridge.

Key projects the council will help fund through CIL income will include the removal of the Wandsworth Town one-way system, improvements to local railway stations and new schools. 

It will also help to pay for the Northern Line Extension to Nine Elms - a project forecast to generate billions in new economic growth and create thousands of new jobs for local people.

Wandsworth's CIL charging schedule has been through an independent examination process to ensure the levels proposed are affordable for the development industry, and will raise enough money to fund the improvements local communities need.

Wandsworth Council's cabinet member for strategic planning and transportation Cllr Russell King said:

"London is growing and this simple, transparent approach to development taxation will help us keep pace with rising demand on key public services like schools and transport.

"The tariff system gives the industry greater cost certainty and residents will be able to see up front how much a developer will have pay towards improving the local area. It means an end to long, complex negotiations behind close doors which are a needless drain on councils and developers alike.

"Our tariffs have been thoroughly researched to ensure they strike the correct balance between affordability, and leveraging enough funds to build an even stronger Wandsworth in the years ahead.

"In Nine Elms we've set higher charges than anywhere else in the borough, reflecting the area's central London location and its obvious growth potential. The CIL income we collect here is will be key to delivering our plans for the Northern Line Extension, which is vital to creating 25,000 new jobs and 16,000 new homes.  The area's developers were closely involved in the consultation process and we are confident the levy is fair and affordable.

"Across the rest of Wandsworth we have proposed a zero tax rate on all non-residential forms of development to ensure job creating schemes remain viable and keep coming forward."

The approved schedule sets a levy of £250 per square metre for residential development across the vast majority of the borough, and no charge for other types of development including new retail or office space.

In the Roehampton regeneration area there will be a zero levy across all types of development to ensure the viability of the regeneration scheme.

Within 'Area A' of the Nine Elms opportunity area there will be a charge of £575 per square metre on residential development.

Throughout the rest of opportunity area - called Nine Elms Area B - a levy of £265 per square metre will be applied to new residential development. Across both Nine Elms Areas there would be a charge of £100 per square metre for office and retail space and zero for other types of development.

Subject to the details of the CIL Regulations, the charges will be payable on all development over 100 square metres (net) or involving the creation of a new residential unit.

Affordable housing and certain charitable development is exempt from CIL and the council is also offering discretionary charitable relief.

CIL is payable on the commencement of development, and the council has also approved an instalments policy allowing developers to spread larger payments over a period of up to 18 months.  

The council's CIL charges are in addition to the Mayor of London's CIL which is currently set at £50 per square metres for most types of development.

Wandsworth's charging schedule is available on the council's website, including a map showing the different levy charge zones. Visit www.wandsworth.gov.uk/cil.

For more information, email cil@wandsworth.gov.uk.

ENDS

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