Community Infrastructure Levy Plan Examinations and the role the Planning Inspectorate plays.
The Community Infrastructure Levy is a levy that local authorities (referred to as ‘charging authorities’) in England and Wales can choose to charge on new developments in their area. The charging authority produces a document called a charging schedule which sets out the rate for their levy. It must undergo a public examination by an independent person before the charging authority can formally approve it. Unlike a local plan examination, the selection and appointment of the examiner is made by the charging authority. The Planning Inspectorate has experience in running such Examinations and the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government considers that Planning Inspectors are well placed to carry out this work.
Using the Planning Inspectorate to run the Examination
Any charging authority in England considering using the Planning Inspectorate to examine its schedule under section 212 of the Planning Act 2008 should advise the Plans Team at the earliest opportunity. At the very minimum this should be 3 months before the publication of the draft schedule at Regulation 16 of The Community Infrastructure Regulations 2010 SI 2010 No. 948.
Submission of the Charging Schedule
The Plans Team will discuss with you the specific requirements in connection with submission of your schedule. You will be asked to sign a service level agreement which sets out the relevant framework and fees for the examination.
The specific submission requirements are set out in Regulation 19 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, which provides the charging authority must submit to the examiner:
a. the draft charging schedule
b. a statement setting out the number of representations made in relation to the draft charging schedule and a summary of the main issues raised and of how representations received were taken into account, or a statement that no representations were made
c. copies of any representations made in relation to the draft charging schedule
d. where the draft charging schedule was modified following publication a statement of modifications and
e. copies of the relevant evidence
Hard copies of all the above must be provided. Those documents specified under a, b and d above must also be sent electronically as should those specified under c and e insofar as it is practicable to do so.
Preferably at the same time but as soon as possible after submission the charging authority must:
- place a copy of the Regulation 19 documents at its principal office and other places it considers appropriate
- It must publish the draft charging schedule, the representations statement on its website.
- as far as it is practicable to do so, the other documents specified in Regulation 19 should also be placed on the website.
- a statement that the Regulation 19 documents are available for inspection and where they can be seen must also be published on the website.
- at the same time the charging authority must notify those persons who requested to be informed that the draft charging schedule has been submitted to the examiner.
Where the draft charging schedule was modified after it was first published (under Regulation 16), the charging authority must do the following before submitting the draft charging schedule:
- send a copy of the statement of modifications to each of the consultation bodies invited to make representations at the preliminary draft stage (those consultation bodies specified under Regulation 16).
- publish the statement of modification on its website.
Charging authorities must notify all persons who have made a representation on the draft charging schedule of the place, date and time of an examination session at least 4 weeks before it takes place.
Anyone who wishes to be heard in relation to any modifications made after the draft charging schedule was first published (under Regulation 16) must inform the charging authority in writing within 4 weeks of the draft charging schedule being submitted to the examiner.
Charging authorities must notify those persons of the place, date and time of an examination session at least 2 weeks before it takes place (Regulation 21).
Inspectors (referred to as ‘Examiners’ in this context) will apply the broad procedural principles of Development Plan Document Examinations as set out in Examining Development Plan Documents: Procedural Guidance for examining charging schedules. In summary:
- the Charging Authority will need to appoint a Programme Officer.
- the Examiner will do an initial paper based examination and identify the main issues.
- a Pre Hearing Meeting (PHM) will not be necessary (in most cases).
- hearing sessions, when required, will be mainly informal roundtable discussions.
- anyone who has made a representation has a right to be heard (section 212(9) of the Planning Act 2008). However this right is qualified by Regulation 21(12) of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010.
- the report will be focused and concise. It will be sent to the charging authority for ‘fact check’ prior to final issue. The legislation also provides further scope to address ‘correctable errors’.
Submitted Charging Schedules
3J Kite Wing
Temple Quay House
2 The Square
or Email: Plans.Admin@planninginspectorate.gov.uk
Tel. 0303 444 5326