Developers in South Oxfordshire will now be required to contribute more to the local community, thanks to an update to the charge known as the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) adopted by South Oxfordshire District Council in December.
Under the new CIL Charging Schedule, developers building new homes, supermarkets and retail warehouses in the district must contribute more funds which can then be used by local town and parish councils, as well as the district and county council, to improve local community facilities across transport, education, health, leisure and more.
Over the last two years, CIL money has been used to fund projects, including a £45,000 refurbishment of the Greys Road Car Park public toilets in Henley, a £40,000 update to the Oak Tree Health Centre in Didcot for a new consultation room to support clinicians and a £90,000 play park redevelopment for Benson Parish Council.
Councillor Anne-Marie Simpson, Cabinet Member for Planning at South Oxfordshire District Council, said: “It’s important new housing developments pay their fair share so that all current and future residents can access the facilities they need.
“I’m pleased we have been able to increase CIL rates and introduce levies on more types of housing and development so our communities can maximise the benefits and use these funds to make improvements across our district.
“Part of this process was asking our residents to have their say on the proposed updates, so I want to thank everyone who got involved to ensure the new charges reflect the needs of the community.”
The updated charges increase the amount of CIL funding developers are required to pay and introduces CIL fees for developers of student housing, ‘build to rent’ housing and elderly person’s accommodation.
The updated Charging Schedule has come into effect from 03 January 2023. An updated Supplementary Planning Document is also now available to provide developers with further details on their planning obligations.
To view the updated CIL Charging Schedule and Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document, visit the South Oxfordshire District Council website.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a levy that local authorities can choose to charge on new development in their area.
The South Oxfordshire District Council approved its first CIL Charging Schedule in February 2016, a document setting out the CIL rates it charges for different types of development in different parts of the district.
The amount of CIL charged depends on the size of the development and the charging zone it sits in. There are also exemptions – for example, affordable housing and homes built by self-builders are exempt from CIL.
The Council undertook a review of its 2016 Charging Schedule to take into account the new site allocations and additional infrastructure requirements contained within the South Oxfordshire Local Plan 2035 (which was adopted in December 2020) and legislative changes.
Alongside the review of the CIL Charging Schedule, the Council undertook a review of its Developer Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD), also to take into account the adoption of the Local Plan and amendments to the CIL Regulations.