Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – spend protocol

February 2021

This protocol sets out proposed procedures for dealing with the allocation and monitoring of the spending of income arising from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

CIL differs fundamentally from S106 in that the funds collected are not tied to a specific development or the provision of specific infrastructure. Unlike infrastructure provided through S106 planning obligations, which must be necessary to mitigate the impact of a particular development and used only for that specific purpose, CIL funds can be used flexibly to fund any infrastructure as defined within the regulations. The Council’s Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS) will set out priorities for CIL spend, but this will not exclude spend on items that are not identified in the IFS. CIL funds can be pooled freely to fund infrastructure priorities and collectively between authorities towards larger strategic investments. They should be seen as a contribution to assisting with the provision of overall infrastructure priorities which may well change over time.

Framework for Determining Expenditure of CIL Monies

Authorities are required to set out their priorities for expenditure through an annual IFS. The current IFS for Reading Borough was based on an Infrastructure Delivery Plan that was produced as part of the preparation of the local plan, and in consultation with the various spending services, and which drew on the previous Regulation 123 list. A Regulation 123 list was a now-superseded requirement for a list of items to be funded by CIL. A copy of the Council’s original Regulation 123 list was approved as part of the papers submitted to the Secretary of State for approval of the Council’s CIL Charging Schedule.

The spending priorities in the IFS refer to the types of infrastructure but does not specify particular schemes or projects. The priorities are based on adopted Local Plan policies, and relate to:

  • Transport infrastructure
  • Education facilities projects
  • Social / Community facilities
  • Leisure and Culture facilities
  • Open spaces, sports, recreation, green infrastructure, public realm and environmental improvement projects
  • Economic Support
  • Renewable Energy Infrastructure
  • Air Quality

The CIL regulations set out specific requirements on local authorities to monitor, report and publish, annually, details of all funding received and all expenditure of
CIL funding. This will be completed through the annual IFS which the Council is
required to produce by 31st December each year.

Regulation 59F of the CIL Regulations 2010 (as amended) requires that at least 15%
of CIL monies should be spent in the ‘relevant local area’ in which development is
occurring. The requirement is that the local authority ensures that at least 15% of
receipts are directed to areas subject to development. It should be noted that
these monies (which are referred to as the ‘meaningful proportion’) do not have to
be spent on items identified in the IFS, but could be spent on anything to help
mitigate the impact the development has on the area.

Proposed Allocation of Expenditure

The principles are that expenditure will be:

  • 80%
    • on infrastructure as defined in the regulations.
    • in accordance with priorities set out in the Council’s IFS at the time the expenditure is authorised; The contents of the Council’s IFS will reflect the Council’s infrastructure priorities as set out in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan, adopted policies and capital programme.
  • 15%
    • at least 15% must be allocated to areas in which CIL liable development is taking place, but, in the absence of any parish councils, this can mean the whole borough.
    • can be allocated to ’infrastructure’ listed or not listed on the IFS.
    • spending needs to meet the requirement to ‘support the development of the area’.
    • A consultation on the approach to how the Council uses the local contribution will be required. The final allocation of any CIL money, including the local contribution will be made by the Council’s Policy Committee.
    • Allocations for spending the 15% local contribution will be for CIL receipts received up to the end of the previous year.
  • 5%
    • 5% of receipts will be allocated to cover administration costs.

The Council’s February budget report includes the Council capital programme and
an indication of how it will be financed overall including any planned use of CIL receipts. The programme shows proposals for the forthcoming year with some forward planning/commitments for the following two years (i.e. a rolling 3 year programme) based on development monitoring and CIL database information. When the Council approves the budget it will also therefore approve in principle
the allocation of how 80% of CIL receipts will be spent.

The financial year end report (presented in the early summer) will provide as necessary a listing of CIL receipts received or expected imminently. It will indicate the level of CIL receipt from each listed development and thus a calculation of the level of 15% that should be allocated to the relevant area. For the purposes of CIL the relevant local area in the absence of any parish councils is the whole Borough, because Reading is a geographically compact area and a single settlement where residents make use of infrastructure in different parts of the Borough. The degree to which infrastructure relates to the areas where development is taking place will be a consideration in allocation 15% CIL funding, but this will be weighed against other considerations. In any event, when allocating the 15% local contribution, consideration needs to be given to the location of the development providing the CIL receipt and the impacts that the development has on its neighbourhood.

There is provision within the regulations for the local authority to allocate up to 5% of CIL receipts to the administration of the scheme. Set up costs, the costs of items such as the purchase of software, and the staffing costs involved in administering the scheme can be paid for directly from CIL receipts. Costs will be incurred by Planning, Finance and Legal Sections and any other sections with an input into the administration of CIL within the authority. Accordingly, up to 5% of CIL receipts will be allocated to cover all administration costs, albeit this figure can be reviewed from time to time.

Infrastructure Prioritisation Criteria (for 80%)

The use of 80% of CIL will be focused on:

  • Education
  • Strategic Transport Projects
  • Strategic Leisure/Culture

Which accord with the following:

  • Should relate to priorities identified in the IFS
  • Be included in the Infrastructure Development Plan and/or Approved Capital Programme
  • May enable other funds that woud not otherwise be available or offer a financial return on investment, for example needed to match or draw grant funding
  • Address a specific impact of new development beyond that which has been secured through a S106 obligation or S278 agreement
  • Contribute to the delivery of key development sites in the district to realise the Local Plan proposals

The use of the 15% of CIL which is allocated ‘locally’ could, as alternatives to the priority projects in the area being funded under the 80% above, be focused on:

  • Open space improvements / small scale leisure;
  • Local highway improvement projects
  • Air quality
  • Community improvements
  • Renewable energy infrastructure
  • Economic Support
  • Other measures which help tmitigate the impact the development has on the area.

Which must accord with following:

  • Support:
    • the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of local facilities and/or infrastructure; or
    • anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on a local area
  • May be included in the IDP and/or Approved Capital Programme
  • May enable other funds that would not otherwise be available or offer a financial return on investment, for example needed to match or draw grant funding
  • Address a specific impact of new development beyond that which has been secured through a S106 obligation or S278 agreement
  • Contribute to the delivery of key development sites in the district to realise the Local Plan proposals

In regards to how the 15% allocation will be processed:

  • Projects can be nominated by officers, members, community groups or members of the public, using a standard form available on the website setting out key details; these could be from proposals that have been identified via committees, on work programmes, through surveys or elsewhere. Such proposals may include improvements to Parks and Open Spaces or highway schemes, for example. Nominations will need to be made by the end of the calendar year to feed into final allocations in the following Spring;
  • Initial proposals will be discussed with lead councillors;
  • Given that funds are limited the use of 15% local CIL funds will be normally allocated to small scale projects or around £100k or less;
  • Public consultation on the general spending priorities under the local community 15% spend will take place every 3-4 years, at the beginning of the calendar year. These will not be based on specific projects, but on overall type of infrastructure;
  • The final allocation of funds will be made annually by the Policy Committee. The following considerations will be taken into account when making allocations:
    • Deliverability (timescales, risks, resources required, dependence on external partners)
    • Financial considerations (value for money, additional capital funding required, revenue considerations)
    • Accordance with spending priorities identified in consultation
    • Relationship with identified strategic priorities
    • Degree to which projects meet infrastructure needs arising from or enabling development.
  • A Policy Committee report on new allocations each year would also report on the progress of the allocations from previous years and would give the opportunity to re-allocate unspent funds or put additional funds towards existing projects if required.
Last updated on 01/11/2021