CIL is a levy which local authorities can charge developers to raise funds for the infrastructure needs which arise from new developments. Where a neighbourhood plan is in place, 25% of the CIL monies collected by the Councils must be spent in the area where the development takes place. Prior to the adoption of a plan 15% must be spent in the area based on the wishes of the community.
The Crouch End Neighbourhood Forum does not yet have a Neighbourhood Plan, indeed at the time of writing the Cabinet has yet to approve its formal standing – though officers have recommended that Cabinet approve its formation, as can be seen on pages 441 onwards in these papers for cabinet consideration 15th December.
As part of the development of the Forum a small deputation recently attended an Overview and Scrutiny Committee to put forward views on how CIL should be collected, administered and distributed. The main points we made were that the levy should be accounted for and distributed by Neighbourhood Area where one exists; that electoral ward is not a good guide for this process; that the Forum, even before it has a plan, is a very capable consultative body and represents a large section of the community (see these pages – Likes and the results from a workshop, for examples); and that the proceeds from the levy should actually be transferred to a Forum bank account. The Highgate Forum put forward broadly similar views. We hope to have sight of the recommendations of the Committee before they go to Cabinet for approval.
The Highgate Forum is something of a bellwether for us, in that they are about two years ahead, and close to putting their Neighbourhood Plan up for a referendum. They have produced a CIL spending list – click to see it in full. So far they have 15 comments on it – both they and we welcome comments on what we are doing – which help to fine tune areas for focus. One rather splendid suggestion they have made is
- Village shuttle linking shopping centres in Crouch End, Muswell Hill, Highgate and Hampstead
which might very well address some questions over the need for parking in these areas, make it easier to shop locally and nearby, and which demonstrates the opportunities for co-operation between the neighbouring communities.
Some of the background papers can be seen here: