A new way of unlocking funding from planning developments has been voted in by councillors.
At a full Council meeting on Wednesday, January 20, Babergh district councillors voted to adopt the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Councillors voted by an overwhelming majority to adopt CIL, a framework to collect funds for infrastructure from new developments.
As a result, from April 11, this year Babergh District Council will charge CIL on residential and convenience retail developments in the district, collecting between £50 and £115 in CIL per square metre of floor space depending on the type, size and location of the development.
This will work alongside contributions collected under Section 106 of the Town and County Planning Act and will deliver a clearer and more transparent system for funding infrastructure, providing clear information on costs to both developers and the local authority throughout the development process.
Babergh District Council will be responsible for managing the CIL funding.
The council favours CIL as it gives a predictable funding stream that allows councillors to plan ahead more effectively, while giving developers much more certainty from the start about costs they would expect, instead of the previous Section 106 negotiation based system.
As a result of development, communities will receive a direct allocation of either 15 per cent or 25 per cent of the CIL funds.
The proposals for CIL in Babergh have been through a strict planning process, including consultations, engagement and an examination by an examiner appointed by the Planning Inspectorate who described the evidence informing Babergh’s charging schedule as “robust, proportionate and appropriate”.
Developments on strategic sites, as identified in Babergh’s Core Strategy, including the proposed Chilton Woods Scheme, will continue to collect funds via Section 106 payments rather than CIL.
Councillor Simon Barrett, Babergh portfolio holder for growth and the local economy, said: “The introduction of CIL is great news for Babergh.
“It will give developers a clear charging schedule to follow and speed up the planning application process, while delivering a percentage of the funds straight into the hands of our towns and parishes.
“It will help us deliver the growth and the infrastructure we need to support it in a faster, more transparent way.”