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South Norfolk Council unhappy with developer levy clause

South Norfolk Council is to ask Norwich City Council to include an amendment to its controversial community infrastructure levy (CIL) relief policy.

The decision follows what it describes as independent action by the city council that could result in developers within its governance avoiding having to pay millions of pounds for building projects.

In 2012, South Norfolk Council agreed to partner with Broadland Council, Norwich City Council and Norfolk County Council, which make up the Greater Norwich Partnership, to pool their CIL receipts from developers.

The CIL is a charge that local authorities can set on new development in order to raise funds to help fund infrastructure, facilities and services, such as schools or transport improvements, which are needed to support new homes and businesses in the areas.

Money from the pool is then invested in projects in the county, on merit, and designed to encourage other inward investment to boost growth in both the local and regional economy.

South Norfolk Council claims its Norwich counterpart has benefited significantly from CIL revenue generated from growth in South Norfolk and Broadland, with South Norfolk, in particular, being the greatest provider of housing.

At the recent South Norfolk Council’s scrutiny committee meeting, members agreed to ask Norwich City Council to amend its exceptional circumstances policy, which will give relief from CIL payments, to also enable Greater Norwich partners to consider any requests for relief.

Councillor Graham Minshull, chairman of South Norfolk Council’s scrutiny committee, said: “It’s regrettable that the city council has taken this decision in the face of an existing agreement to work together to review CIL.

“The object of that review was to increase the amount of money available overall for infrastructure projects.

“We now require clarity over why the city council has made this change and given the amount of money involved, whether it’s consistent with the legal agreement signed between us.

“In the meantime, there is now doubt over future investments in our communities as the city’s decision undermines the ability for us to plan ahead.”

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