In response to the spread of COVID-19, the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG) has published guidance for local authorities on Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) matters.

The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 (as amended) provide some flexibility for local authorities to defer the payment of CIL.

The MHCLG has set out some of the steps that local authorities may now wish to consider to ease the burden on developers. This advice can be found at https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-community-infrastructure-levy-guidance.

It is recognised that smaller developers may need more help.

To address this, the Government proposes to amend the CIL Regulations in due course to give authorities more discretion to defer payment for small and medium-sized developers without having to impose additional costs on them.

Under the current regulatory regime, delaying payment would result, in some cases, in mandatory interest charges for the late payment of CIL.

The new guidance explains how CIL charging authorities can bring into effect a new instalment policy at any time or can opt to introduce new instalment policies for as-yet un-commenced chargeable development.

The MHCLG also considers Section 106, noting that there are greater flexibilities within section 106 planning obligations than CIL.

Where the delivery of a planning obligation, such as a financial contribution, is triggered during this period, local authorities are encouraged to consider whether it would be appropriate to allow the developer to defer delivery.

“Local authorities should take a pragmatic and proportionate approach to the enforcement of section 106 planning obligations during this period,” the Ministry urges.

Last reviewed 22 May 2020