Solicitor Kayleigh Chapman, in our leading Planning & Environmental law team, explains why it is important to ensure that Community Infrastructure Levy(CIL) forms are completed correctly.
A recent appeal to the Planning Inspectorate demonstrates the importance of ensuring you complete the Community Infrastructure Levy forms correctly.
Regulation 67 of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended) provides that a “Commencement Notice must be submitted to the collecting authority no later than the day before the day on which the chargeable development is to be commenced”.
Regulation 67(2) confirms that the Commencement Notice must be submitted in a form published by the Government (Form 6) or a form to substantially the same effect. The Commencement Notice must identify the Liability Notice to which it relates, state the intended commencement date and include any other information required by the form.
In the above appeal Southwark Council served a Liability Notice on 19 December 2018. The appellants submitted a Commencement Notice on 13 December 2018 stating a commencement date of 3 January 2019. Commencement did not occur on 3 January 019 and the appellant subsequently served a new Commencement Notice on 17 January 2019 stating a commencement date of 18 January 2019.
Southwark Council acknowledged receipt of that Commencement Notice on 21 January 2019, although that acknowledgement referred (presumably by mistake) to a Commencement Notice dated 18 January 2019.
The Council subsequently issued a surcharge for failing to submit a Commencement Notice.
Unfortunately, the appellant had failed to comply with the requirements of Regulation 67(2) by failing to identify the liability notice to which the Commencement Notice relates in the Commencement Notice.
As a result of this the Inspector had no choice but to find that the Commencement Notice was invalid and that planning permission had been commenced without a valid Commencement Notice being served. Accordingly, the appeal failed and the surcharge was upheld.
For many people this decision will appear unfair. A Commencement Notice was submitted and as the planning application reference number and site address had been included it would not have been difficult for Southwark Council to put two and two together. Despite this the surcharge, which could have been up to £2,500.00 was upheld. The appeal decision demonstrates once again the importance of checking and double checking that the forms have been completed correctly.
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This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.