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Formal phasing vital for CIL payments

In May 2019, the council issued liability and demand notices requiring the developer to pay over £874,283. The council said the whole sum was payable because the development had commenced in October 2018.

The developer argued that CIL should have been assessed on the basis that the development was taking place as part of a phased planning permission. Because only the first phase had commenced, the applicant argued that CIL was only payable for that phase.

Ruling in the High Court on the 28th February, the judge noted that the developer had submitted a form to the council in April 2017 through which it formally assumed responsibility to pay CIL. It had, however, since claimed that each phase of the project was a separate chargeable development.

Dismissing the developer’s arguments, the judge found that, having assumed responsibility to pay CIL, the developer became liable to pay the total sum when the development commenced.

As at that date, the chargeable development was the development permitted by the March 2016 outline planning permission, which was not phased. It was the commencement of the development, rather than the issue of the liability notice, that gave rise to the liability to pay CIL, the judge ruled.

This case shows the need to either agree a payment plan with the Council (if they allow this, as this varies from council to council), or to have a properly phased development where each phase is discrete from the others in terms of chargeable developments for CIL purposes.

The case in question was: R on the Application of Oval Estates (St Peter's) Limited v Bath and North East Somerset Council. Case Number: CO/2636/2019

For more information on how this judgement may affect your development, get in touch with us.

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