Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

The CIL Regulations are complex, and in these pages we try to explain the CIL as easily as possible. If you are intending to build a new house or shop OR to extend a home or retail premises on or after 1st April 2016, then CIL may affect you and we recommend that you read these pages carefully.

These guidance notes are intended as a summary of the relevant provisions. For detailed guidance, you should always refer to the CIL Regulations 2010 (as amended), National Planning Practice Guidance and the Planning Portal. You should seek your own advice if you are in any doubt as regards how CIL operates or affects your own position.

Know what you're looking for? If so, here are some quick links:

Adopted Charging Schedule CIL Process
The CIL Process Flow Chart (89 kb pdf) CIL Forms
Reliefs/Exemptions Surcharges
Appeals (101 kb pdf) CIL FAQs (includes floor-area measuring guidance) (490 kb pdf)
CIL Regulations Planning Practice Guidance on CIL
Planning Portal
(online submissions and forms)
Instalment Policy (42 kb pdf)


What is CIL?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge that Local Authorities can make on new developments in their area. It was introduced by the Government in April 2010 under the CIL Regulations 2010. The CIL is essentially a pre-set charge that can be applied to new developments and collected by each local authority. CIL is intended to be used to help towards funding a range of infrastructure that is needed as a result of new development, for example road schemes, schools and community facilities.

A comprehensive guide to CIL can be found in the Government's National Planning Practice Guidance. This online-only guidance is updated by the Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG) whenever there are changes to the CIL Regulations.

Why was the CIL Adopted by South Northamptonshire Council (SNC)?

At a meeting of the Council on 21st October 2015, Councillors agreed to adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy, with effect from 1st April 2016. The CIL will contribute towards providing the necessary infrastructure that assists the delivery of future growth proposed through plan making. This will also ensure that more development contributes to the infrastructure needed to mitigate and reduce the impact on the communities in which the new development is taking place.  The CIL gives the Council greater control and flexibility over where and on what developer contributions are spent, to benefit local communities.

A proportion of CIL income will go directly to Parish and Town Councils, where new development is built to spend as they wish on their local infrastructure needs. Each year, Parish and Town Councils will be entitled to up to 15 per cent of the CIL collected from liable developments within their Parish/Town (capped at a maximum of £100 per existing dwelling in the Parish/Town). Where there is an adopted Neighbourhood Plan, Parish and Town Councils will be entitled to up to 25 per cent (uncapped).

How does this affect me?

On or after 1st April 2016, if you receive planning permission for a new house (or houses) OR for a home extension or retail development of over 100sqm you will need to pay the levy or apply for a relevant exemption. The CIL will also apply to these types of developments, even if they do not need planning permission, if they are commenced on or after 1st April 2016. It will also apply to permissions for these types of buildings where they have been allowed by an appeal decision on or after this date. SNC has an adopted Charging Schedule and a list of CIL Frequently Asked Questions (297 kb pdf). SNC also provides CIL Process webpages, including a CIL Process Flow Chart (89 kb pdf) which summarises the process to help applicants.

Retail developments that are liable for CIL include: shops, retail warehouses, hairdressers, undertakers, travel and ticket agencies, post offices, pet shops, sandwich bars, showrooms, domestic hire shops, dry cleaners, funeral directors, internet cafes; financial and professional services such as banks and building societies, professional services, estate and employment agencies; restaurants and cafés; drinking establishments such as public houses, wine bars; hot food takeaways; petrol filling stations (i.e. all uses falling within Use Classes A1, A2, A3, A4, A5 or AA or which is described in 3(6)(d) (sale of fuel for motor vehicles) of the Town and Country Planning (Use Classes)(Amendment)(England) Order 2015.

Changes of use, where no new floor space is proposed, would not be liable for the CIL

The charges depend upon which zone the development falls into. You will see from the maps with the Charging Schedule that the district is divided into three main zones: rural; urban and Sustainable Urban Extensions (SUEs)*.

(*The SUEs are areas defined in the West Northamptonshire Joint Core Strategy as being suitable for major residential-led mixed use developments.)

Will I still need to make contributions through a Section 106 Agreement?

Yes. Developer contributions to mitigate the site specific impacts of a development will continue to be payable via Section 106 Obligations and this will be in addition to any payments via the CIL.


If your development is CIL liable we strongly recommend you read the CIL Process pages. If you have to pay the CIL, you will need to send us specific forms and notices, at specific times. Failure to do so could result in penalties such as Surcharges (up to £2,500) and the loss of any rights to claim Instalments (42 kb pdf) or Reliefs/Exemptions.  We can also take enforcement action to collect outstanding CIL charges. In the most severe cases this may include stopping development on site or taking court action.

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