The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge on new development to help the funding of infrastructure. On 21 October 2013, we started charging CIL.
The principle behind CIL is that most development has some impact on infrastructure and should contribute to the cost of providing or improving infrastructure. CIL was introduced by the Planning Act 2008 as a tool for local authorities to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of their area.
Oxford City Council is the charging authority for the Community Infrastructure Levy in Oxford. The Council sets and collects the levy, co-ordinates the spending of the funds and reports this to the community.
CIL Neighbourhood Allocation
Under Regulation 59A, 15 percent of CIL receipts can be allocated to neighbourhood areas by the charging authority.
Furthermore, the Neighbourhood allocation of CIL must be used 'to support the development of the local area' by funding: "The provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure; or anything else that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area."
In line with the CIL regulations, for areas covered by a Parish Council, the 15 percent of CIL received in these areas is paid over twice a year to the Parish. Where a Neighbourhood Forum has adopted a Neighbourhood Plan, up to 25 percent of CIL funds collected from liable developments in the Neighbourhood Forum boundary is held by the Council and may be spent on priorities identified by the Neighbourhood Forum.
There are currently two Neighbourhood Forums in Oxford City (Headington and Summertown & St Margaret’s with a further two coming forward (Wolvercote and Littlemore).
Of the areas not within a parished area or Neighbourhood Plan area we currently have approximately £1.6m of Neighbourhood CIL. We currently allocate £5,000 annually to members of the 19 wards not within a parish or neighbourhood plan area (approximately £500k has been paid into the CIL member’s budget since 2016/17). The ward councillors allocate this to projects that they identify through ongoing engagement with their communities.
We will continue to allocate to the city councillor's neighbourhood budget for at least the next 5 years and beyond this depending on the CIL funds received.
City Council investment towards community projects
Our intention is to use around £1million of remaining neighbourhood CIL towards important community projects within the capital programme that are beneficial to all residents of Oxford and we will be using Strategic CIL along with Neighbourhood CIL towards these projects for example:
- Young People’s Pathway Contribution
- actions from the Citizens Assembly Climate emergency including engagement in the Retrofit Summit, Youth Summit, ZCO Summit and additional biodiversity work
- tackling homelessness
- Social Impact Bonds – deliver targeted support for children & young people via a social impact bond
- funding for the community grants programme
- engagement in transportation initiative across Oxford including Connection Oxford and Zero Emission Zone
- support for the city restart and economic recovery activity
These are some of the projects which are important to Oxford. Without the use of these funds it may be that some of the projects within the capital programme may not be able to continue.