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Act now! New charge in Mid Devon will impact on new rural workers' dwellings

Mid Devon District Council is consulting on proposed Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charge until the 14 February 2017. CIL is a charge put on a range of new developments to help meet the costs of related infrastructure. It is calculated on the new floor area being created.

Under the proposals, in most cases the rate for residential development will be £100 per square metre, with no relief proposed even if the dwelling is for a rural worker. According to Alister King-Smith, Head of Planning Services at Stags, the ‘one size fits all’ approach is not reasonable. “While the need for new development to meet infrastructure costs is a given, a flat rate charge does not reflect the fact that rural workers dwellings are only permitted to support a specific business need. They also have a below market value when they are sold. I am firmly of the view that this is not equitable”.

Whilst in many cases it may be possible to apply for a self-build exemption, this in turn imposes certain restrictions, including the requirement to retain and occupy the property as your principal residence for at least 3 years, otherwise the charge will still be outstanding. If this cannot be sought, a 120sqm house would attract a CIL charge of £12,000.

“I am recommending to clients that they write to Mid Devon District Council to urge them to charge a reduced rate on rural workers’ dwellings”, says King-Smith. This approach has been successful at other councils. “Alternatively, Stags can make representations on your behalf, should you prefer. All comments must be made in writing by the 14th February” he adds.

Alister King-Smith can be contacted on 01392 439046 or