The government released the final draft Regulations for the new Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) this month; with a view to implementation commencing in April 2010. The final draft (subject to final parliamentary approval) includes a full exemption from CIL for most forms of affordable housing development as advocated by Tetlow King Planning (TKP) on behalf of registered social landlords (RSLs).
Following the publication of the initial draft Regulations published in July 2009, TKP had submitted representations on behalf of both the South West Registered Social Landlords Planning Consortium and the West Midlands Registered Social Landlords Planning Consortium. Working with other organisations, such as the National Housing Federation, the main aim had been to secure a total exemption for affordable housing. As part of this process TKP attended a key consultation seminar in London in September 2009 organised by the Chartered Institute of Housing and the Royal Town Planning Institute. A wide range of views were expressed at both the seminar and in the wider consultation exercise. Many other consultees, particularly the Royal Town Planning Institute and the Home Builders Federation, took a contrary view on the exemption of affordable housing.
With planning contributions being sought from new RSL developments soaring and concerns over future funding for RSL development this is very welcome news for the RSL sector. Although the immediate future of CIL remains slightly uncertain pending the general election, we anticipate that this or something very similar will be introduced whatever the complexion of the next government.