Essential guide to the CIL process

Since 1 April 2015 Spelthorne Borough Council has been charging Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) on the following types of development in accordance with its approved Charging Schedule (December 2014):

  • residential development (including annexes and extensions) of 100m2 or more
  • new dwellings (even where the floorspace is less than 100m2)
  • purpose built student accommodation
  • retail development - out of centre larger convenience based supermarkets and superstores and retail warehousing (with net retail selling space of more than 280m2)

If your planning application is for one of the above you will need to follow the process set out below.  If you are unsure whether CIL will apply to your proposal please email cil@spelthorne.gov.uk or telephone 01784 444278 for more information.

**Please see bottom of page for relevant forms**

Stage 1: Additional Information

Every full, reserved matters and Section 73 application for the types of development referred to above must be accompanied by a 'CIL - Planning Application Additional Information Requirement Form' otherwise it will be deemed invalid.  The information required on this form will assist the Council in determining whether or not CIL will be payable on the development and, if so, the correct amount.

NB  Applications for reserved matters that relate to outline planning applications granted prior to 1 April 2015 will not be liable for CIL and the additional information form will not be required.

Stage 2: Assumption of Liability

The responsibility to pay CIL runs with the ownership of land on which the liable development will be situated.  However, the CIL Regulations recognise that other parties involved in a development may wish to assume liability for the payment of the levy.

It is the responsibility of the person(s) who will pay CIL to submit an Assumption of Liability Notice to the Council before commencement of the development.  As part of the validation process the Council requires that the Assumption of Liability Notice be submitted at the same time as the 'Additional Information' form, unless there are clear reasons why this is not possible.  If, when planning permission is granted, no-one has assumed liability the Council will send an Assumption of Liability Notice form to the applicant.  The applicant can then assume liability themselves or pass it on to the relevant person to complete and return.

If there is a change of circumstances regarding the liability of the person or parties who have assumed liability to pay CIL a Withdrawal of Assumption of Liability form and/or a Transfer of Assumed Liability form may be submitted before final payment of CIL is due.

The Council will acknowledge receipt of the Assumption of Liability form and any subsequent Transfer of Liability form.

NB  Where no-one has assumed liability to pay CIL prior to commencement of the development the landowner(s) of the relevant land will be liable to pay the levy.  Failure by any parties to assume liability prior to commencement will also mean that payment in full becomes due immediately and the Council's Instalment Policy will not apply.  In addition the Council may impose a surcharge of £50 on each liable landowner and, where the Council has to apportion liability between one or more owners of the land, a further surcharge of £500 may be imposed.

Stage 3:  Issuing the Liability Notice

Once the Council has received an Assumption of Liability Notice and the final planning permission has been granted, the Council will issue a Liability Notice to the person(s) who have assumed liability, the landowner(s) and the applicant.  The Liability Notice will set out how much CIL the liable person(s) will have to pay.  This notice is not a demand for payment, it is just a notice setting out the liability to pay when development commences.

NB  If you believe the Council has made an error in calculating the amount of the charge set out in the Liability Notice you may request a review in writing within 28 days of receipt of the notice.  See below under Review and Appeals.

Stage 4:  Claiming Exemptions or Relief

There are a number of different types of exemptions or relief which may apply to development where CIL is otherwise payable.  If you consider that your development, or part of it, should be exempt from CIL you should submit one of the following forms after having submitted an Assumption of Liability Form.

NB  Claims for relief must be made before development commences, although the Council would encourage claims to be made earlier in the process if appropriate.

Charitable and social housing

Charitable bodies may claim relief, subject to certain criteria.  Where development includes social housing, relief will be granted for the floorspace used for social housing.  Charitable and social housing relief must be applied for by using the appropriate form (Form 2: Claiming Exemption and Relief).

NB  Charitable and social housing relief must be applied for and granted prior to the commencement of development. 

On receipt of the form the Council will assess the claim and, as soon as reasonably practicable, advise the liable person(s) of its decision.  If relief is granted, the Council will issue a revised liability notice detailing the reduced amount of CIL liable for the development.

NB  Any relief granted is repayable to the Council if the development ceases to be used for charitable purposes or social housing within a period of 7 years from the date of the commencement of the developmentSocial housing relief will also lapse if the assumption of liability is withdrawn or transferred.

Residential extensions, annexes and self-build housing

Exemptions for residential extensions, annexes and self-build housing must also be applied for and granted prior to commencement using the appropriate form - either the 'Self Build Residential Annex Claim Form', 'Self Build Residential Extension Exemption Claim Form' or the 'Self Build Exemption Claim Form: Part 1'.  Upon receipt of a form for exemption, the Council will assess the claim and as soon as reasonably practicable advise the liable person(s) of its decision.

Following completion of self-build housing there is a further form to fill out (Self Build Exemption Claim Form Part 2) together with the submission of various types of evidence (see Stage 7).

For annexes and self-build housing there is a clawback period of 3 years following completion if a disqualifying event occurs.

For annexes a disqualifying event is:

  • the use of the main dwelling for any purpose other than as a single dwelling
  • the letting of the residential annex
  • the sale of the main dwelling or residential annex separately

For self-build housing a disqualifying event is:

  • any change to the housing that means it cannot meet the definition of self-build housing (eg no longer using the dwelling as a sole or main residence
  • failure to submit required documentation within 6 months of completion
  • the letting out of the dwelling or communal areas
  • the sale of the dwelling
  • the sale of communal areas

NB  There are no disqualifying events once exemption is granted for a residential extension.

Stage 5:  Commencement Notice

CIL becomes payable on commencement of development.  The CIL Regulations require that a liable person(s) submits a Commencement Notice to the Council stating the day that they intend to commence development.  The Commencement Notice must be submitted to the Council at least a day before the development commences.  The Council will acknowledge receipt of a Commencement Notice.

If a liable person wishes to change the commencement date they may simply submit a revised Commencement Notice to the Council.

NB  It is vital that a Commencement Notice is submitted before development commencesThe CIL Regulations provide that where a Commencement Notice has not been received before commencement, the liable person(s) will no longer be able to benefit from the Instalment Policy and the development will cease to be eligible for social housing relief or exemptions for self-build housing or annexes.  In addition the Council may issue a surcharge of 20% of the liable amount or £2,500 whichever the lower amount.

Stage 6:  Demand Notice

The Council will issue a Demand Notice to the liable person(s) following receipt of the Commencement Notice.

The Demand Notice will set out precise details of payment arrangements including instalment options, which will be payable from the date upon which development commences.

NB  If a valid Commencement Notice has not been submitted before development commences the Council will determine a deemed commencement date and payment will be due in full on that date.

Stage 7:  Completion

Self-builders:

Within 6 months of completion of self-build housing, the liable person must submit a 'Self Build Exemption Claim Form: Part 2' together with appropriate supporting evidence:

  • Proof of completion (building control compliance/completion certificate)
  • Proof of ownership (title and deeds)
  • Proof of occupation of the dwelling (Council tax certificate, and two further proofs of evidence (utility bill, electoral roll, bank statement)

You will also need to provide one of the following:

  • An approved claim for a VAT refund for DIY housebuilders
  • A self-build warranty
  • An approved self-build mortgage

NB  Failure to submit the appropriate form and evidence within 6 months of completion of the development will result in the withdrawal of the exemption and payment in full of the liable amount.

Review and Appeals

1.    Review of Chargeable Amount

It is possible to request a review of the calculation of the chargeable amount as it appears in the Liability Notice if the liable person(s) believes there is an error in the  calculation (a form is available for this purpose).

A request for a review must be made to the Council in writing within 28 days of the Liability Notice being received.  Any such request may be accompanied by representations in connection with the review that explain why it is believed the calculation was wrong.

A senior officer of the Council who had no part in making the original calculation will review the calculation within 14 days and inform the appellant of the decision and the reasons for it.  If an error is found in the calculation a revised Liability Notice will be issued.

NB  Any request for a review of the chargeable amount must be submitted and a decision made before development commences.

2.    Appeal of Chargeable Amount

If a liable person(s) is aggrieved by the decision of the Council following a review of the chargeable amount, the liable person(s) may appeal to the Valuation Office Agency.  An appeal may also be made to the Valuation Office Agency if the Council has failed to provide a response to a request for a review within the 14 day limit.

An appeal to the Valuation Office Agency must be made with 60 days of the Liability Notice being received.

NB  It is important to note that a request for an appeal of the chargeable amount cannot be made after development commences.  Any appeal will lapse if development is commenced prior to the Valuation Office Agency issuing their decision.

3.    Residential Annex and Self-Build Exemption Appeals

An appeal can be made directly to the Valuation Office Agency if a liable person(s) considers that the Council has incorrectly determined that an annex is not wholly within the curtilage of the main dwelling.  Such an appeal must be made within 28 days of the Council's decision on the claim for exemption.  An appeal cannot be made if development has commenced.

An appeal can be made directly to the Valuation Office Agency if a liable person(s) considers that the Council has incorrectly determined the value of the exemption allowed for self-build housing.  Such an appeal must be made within 28 days of the Council's decision on the claim for exemption.  An appeal cannot be made if development has commenced.

4.    Other Appeals

There are a number of other circumstances where appeals can be made in the CIL process:

  1. If an owner of a material interest in land disagrees with how the Council has apportioned liability to those who are liable to pay the charge, then that person may appeal.  The appeal must be made within 28 days.  This appeal must be made to the Valuation Office Agency
  2. A relevant person can appeal any of the surcharges that the Council may impose if procedures and payment deadlines aren't followed.  It can be appealed on the basis that it was calculated incorrectly, that a liability notice was not served or if the breach simply did not occur.  The appeal must be made within 28 days.  This appeal must be made to the Planning Inspectorate
  3. A liable person can appeal a deemed commencement date if it is considered that the date has been determined incorrectly.  An appeal must be made within 28 days.  This appeal must be made to the Planning Inspectorate
  4. A relevant person can appeal against a stop notice.  They can do so if a warning notice was not issued or the development has not yet commenced.  An appeal must be made within 60 days.  This appeal must be made to the Planning Inspectorate