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The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) allows local authorities to tax new builds and the creation of a new dwelling from an existing structure, whether developed commercially or by homeowners themselves. In many parts of the country the CIL is already in place. In West Dorset and Weymouth & Portland it is due to be introduced on 18 July 2016. The relevant date is the date on the planning decision notice and not the date the application was made or considered by a planning committee.

The levy is a set amount per square metre (sqm). Individual local authorities set their own rates, in some London boroughs it is as high as £400 per sqm! In West Dorset the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy is £100 per sqm for all dwellings, in Weymouth and surrounding area it is to be £93 and on Portland, £80. This includes holiday lets although essential rural workers’ homes have a nil rate in both authorities and ‘affordable housing’ is excluded.

There is no size limit, although if an existing building is demolished then its floor area can be deducted from the replacement development when calculating the charge. Also, if there is a change of use, for example a shop is converted into a residential dwelling, the existing floor space can be deducted when calculating the CIL, but only if the shop has been used for at least six months in the previous three years.

The CIL may also apply to home extensions over 100 sqm and to commercial property. It is up to each local authority to decide and which, if any, trades or property to include. It is understood that neither West Dorset nor Weymouth & Portland are intending to tax home extensions or commercial development at the moment.

Homeowners or developers must advise their local authority that they are assuming responsibility for the CIL. It will be part of the planning application process (CIL Form 1) and is payable at the start of the development unless the CIL is £60,000+ when it can be paid in three instalments.

For further information please see the following: