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Take-up of CIL cash is poor, shows research

Words: Laura Edgar
CIL can be used to provide doctors' surgeries / iStock: 516181986

Fewer than half of councils in England and Wales are choosing to implement the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL). This equates to 148 out of 348 councils.

Additionally, 40 per cent of the receipts from CIL, which are supposed to go towards improving local infrastructure, remain unspent.

The analysis was done by the Association for Consultancy and Engineering using Freedom of Information requests.  

It finds that councils raised more than £1.1 billion between 2014 and July 2018, with £443 million left unspent.

Hannah Vickers, chief executive at ACE, said local infrastructure is “bearing the brunt” of this money not being spent when new homes are being built.

“This means more cars on our local roads, more pupils in our crowded schools and longer waiting lists at the GP. Given the current financial demands on councils this is a surprising state of affairs.”

It is clear, Vickers says, that the original intention of the levy as a means to fairly raise money for supporting infrastructure is failing.

“The upcoming Budget is an opportunity for the government to address this imbalance and put in place a system which is simple and transparent. At the moment the system is failing old and new residents alike.”

Regional disparities were also revealed by the Scrapping the Levy analysis. More than half (56 per cent) of the CIL receipts that have not been spent are at councils in Greater London. Birmingham and Newcastle city councils have not spent any receipts, whereas Portsmouth City Council has spent 82 per cent of its receipts.

Scrapping the Levy can be read here on the ACE website.

* This article has been updated since it was first published to reflect further analysis by ACE. (31/10/2018)

Image credit | iStock