Developers are required to pay a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to North Somerset Council to help fund the cost of infrastructure such as schools and transport improvements.
Fifteen per cent of the money is passed by the council to the town or parish council where the development takes place, giving them direct control over how the money is spent in their local communities. This increases to 25 per cent if the council has an adopted neighbourhood plan.
The rest is retained by North Somerset Council to spend on infrastructure to support housing development.
Payments are made to town and parish councils every six months. In the latest round of payments more than £95,000 has been distributed to the following town and parishes:
- Cleeve - £6,072.75
- Flax Bourton - £3,257.41
- Nailsea - £8,514.49
- Portishead - £69,652.80
- Weston-in-Gordano - £446.91
- Weston-super-Mare - £6,352.99
- Winscombe and Sandford - £981.82.
This brings the total amount passed to town and parish councils since the implementation of CIL three years ago to more than £435,000.
“This money can make a huge difference at a local level, helping communities provide new infrastructure for the benefit of their residents,” said Cllr Mark Canniford, the council’s executive member for placemaking and economy.
Town and parish councils can spend the money on the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure, or on anything else concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area. This gives local communities flexibility to use the money to best meet their needs.
North Somerset Council is more restricted in how it can spend its share of CIL, and must only use it towards infrastructure projects. The council publishes an annual report on the total amount of CIL received and how it is spending its share.
In North Somerset the CIL applies primarily to retail and residential developments and the rates vary according to the size, location and type of development. There are exceptions for affordable housing and properties being built for the owner’s own use (for example house extensions) as well as for charitable projects. There is no charge on employment or community buildings.
Further guidance on the CIL, as well as the annual reports on expenditure, can be found on the council's website at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cil.