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Community Infrastructure Levy - TrustNews Mar 18

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is not a subject that will be part of most people's every day conversation and the words on their own are unlikely to generate much enthusiasm, but Trust Council felt that it does have one feature worth publicising among those who take an interest in planning decisions which affect Winchester which we think includes most of our membership. CIL is the latest in a number of government initiatives since the creation of the modern planning system in 1948 which have all attempted in various ways to extract money from the financial gains that follow from the development of land, which can then be used for the benefit of the general public to meet the needs of the community which arise from development.

The CIL is a complicated process like the others that have preceded it. The money collected is divided in fixed proportions between parish councils (ln Winchester the Town Forum), and the County and City Councils. The feature which is new is that the City Council, which collects the money, has created the opportunity for community and neighbourhood organisations, such as the Trust, to propose projects on which the money collected should be spent. Government guidance on what is suitable is broad and includes ‘anything that is concerned with addressing the demands that development places on an area’. It is expected that it will be used for capital rather than revenue expenditure. The City Council has created a process and guidelines for putting forward proposals and so the Trust could use this where it sees something that needs improving in Winchester.

Examples of what CIL has been used for throughout the District in the first few years it has been in operation includes a car park in Alresford, flood defences in the Durngate area of Winchester, and a cycle link. It could be used for open space, sports and recreation. If anyone has ideas about a project worth proposing please get in touch with the Trust.