No More Pooling – Date is Looming: Thoughts of a CIL Anorak

I have been wearing my CIL anorak a lot recently – fully zipped up and my hood on… It seems that no matter how long I do CIL there are always questions to be pondered on – these are the ones that are exercising me at the moment.

Do people really get that there is no pooling of more than five s106 obligations after 2015? I am not convinced that this has totally sunk in – or that the implications of this has been explained to councillors or management teams. I also think that some think that there is a way around it – if there is please tell me! I can understand that some take the view that they will do everything on large strategic sites with s106 – this might be possible but:

• Have you worked out how you can make sure that these sites are not broken up into more than five parcels?
• Do you have policies that define not only the new developments but also the required infrastructure on the strategic site?
• And will you only accept a master planning application for the whole package? Would you be in a position to refuse applications that came in for chunks of it?

If you have thought this through and have an air- tight approach – I am really interested. It certainly needs a lot of thought.

In areas where the growth is not strategic sites I am truly puzzled if people think the pooling limit will work for them. The assumption must be that they will not bother. That CIL is not worth doing, is too expensive to implement, there’s not enough viability to get a decent rate, and will only provide 5-10% of infrastructure money (a small contribution – but not to be sniffed at I would have thought). So, is the focus on ‘New Homes Bonus’ to provide supporting infrastructure?

I also worry that some think that you can still pool if it is site-specific mitigation – just to be clear –you can’t pool five or more, even if it is necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

So what will you do? Refuse it?

Oh, to end on some potentially good news – there is no pooling restrictions on s278 of the Highways Act. Hooray!

For more information, see the CIL section on the PAS website.