New developments above a certain size can attract a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) from developers for infrastructure to support the development across the whole borough. However, if a community such as Pyrford has an adopted Neighbourhood Plan, 25% of the CIL collected is made available for infrastructure projects nominated by the local community providing proposals qualify and are approved by a joint committee of Woking Borough Council and Surrey County Council. This latter community fund is known as NCIL.
NEIGHBOURHOOD COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (NCIL/CIL) IN PYRFORD
So far, as of 31 March 2020 just under £28,250 had been accumulated as NCIL. This money is the 25% of CIL, paid by developers, which is available to be spent in the Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum (PNF) area on appropriate items. PNF would like to seek ideas from Pyrford residents, but there are constraints as outlined below.
NB In November 2020, the Woking Joint Community approved up to £14,000 for the Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum.
WHAT IS COMMUNITY INFRASTRUCTURE LEVY (CIL)?
CIL is a standardised non-negotiable levy that is charged to new development to raise funds to deliver infrastructure to support development. The rate increases each year in line with inflation.
In Woking, CIL was adopted in October 2014 and came into effect from 1st April 2015.
CIL is charged on the ‘gross internal floor space’ of a proposed development. However, some developments are exempt. These include:
- minor developments and residential extensions of less than 100 square metres of net internal floorspace (unless it will comprise of one or more dwellings)
- new affordable housing
- development for charitable purposes
- self build housing and residential annexes.
Once there is an approved neighbourhood Plan, the percentage that must be spent locally increase from 15% to 25%. The PNF plan was adopted from 9th February 2017.
HOW CAN IT BE SPENT?
Woking Borough Council in its core strategy says that CIL is charged to new developments to raise funds to deliver infrastructure to support development the Council, local community or neighbourhood wants – for example, new or safer road schemes, park improvements or a new health centre. WBC goes on to say “the definition of infrastructure is wide and includes a range of services and facilities provided by both public and private bodies. For the purposes of the Core Strategy, the definition of infrastructure is that set out below:
- Transport: road network, cycling and walking infrastructure, rail network, parking
- Housing: affordable housing
- Education: further and higher education, secondary and primary education, nursery schools and other early years provision
- Health: acute care and general hospitals, mental hospitals, health centres/primary care trusts, ambulance services
- Social and community infrastructure: supported accommodation, social and community facilities, sports centres, open spaces, parks and play space
- Public services: waste management and disposal, libraries, cemeteries, emergency services (police, fire, ambulance), places of worship, prisons, drug treatment centres
- Utility services: gas supply, electricity supply, heat supply, water supply, waste water treatment, telecommunications infrastructure
- Flood alleviation measures
- Green infrastructure: parks and gardens, natural and semi-natural urban greenspaces, green corridors, outdoor sports facilities, amenity greenspace, provision for children and young people, allotments, cemeteries and churchyards, accessible countryside in urban fringe areas, river and canal corridors, green roofs and walls”
The government has said that the neighbourhood portion of the levy can be spent on a wider range of things than the rest of the levy, provided that it meets the requirement to ‘support the development of the area’. The wider definition means that the neighbourhood portion can be spent on things other than infrastructure (as defined in the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations) provided it is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on the area.
The Pyrford Neighbourhood Plan, (available to read at https://pyrfordforum.org/pyrford-neighbourhood-plan/) was approved by 96.5% of those voting in the public referendum on 15th December 2016 and said under “Use of Community Infrastructure Levy”:-
Priorities for the use of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding, will include:
- Investment in, and management of, public services, assets and other measures to support local services for the village.
- Support for existing community organisations, including contributions to running costs and help with new investment
- Contributions towards the Community Projects listed in Appendix 1
- Support towards the provision of affordable housing within the Area
- Support towards the upgrading of the village infrastructure, including footpaths and traffic management
- Organising new surveys relating to the Village Infrastructure, Open Spaces, Built Environment and Social & Community Services
Appendix 1 outlined a number of projects which were proposed by local people that were outside the specific remit of the plan but were listed to provide a focus for community action. These were:-
- Infrastructure Planning
- Locally Listed Buildings
- Recreational Area
- Day Care Centre
- Public Bus Transport
- Healthcare and Well-Being
HOW CAN YOU HELP?
Apart from the concepts outlined in the Pyrford Neighbourhood Forum Plan above , PNF has yet to generate a “detailed wish list”.
The Committee was intending to start the processes by having a “blue sky” discussion in March 2020, but COVID has gotten in the way.
PNF would like to hear ideas from the Pyrford community.
Please note any idea not intricately linked to the concepts identified in the approved PNF plan (see above) will need public consultation to show it has public support. Ideas that support the concepts identified in the approved PNF plan, are deemed by Woking Borough Council to already been subject to public consultation.
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