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Guidance for Parish Councils

How much will Parish Councils in West Lancashire receive?

Parish Councils will receive 15% of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charged on liable local developments in their parish area. 

When will monies be received?

CIL funds are payable on commencement of development and should be paid within 60 days of commencement or in accordance with the instalments policy.

Once CIL funds are received by the Borough Council, 15% of the revenue will be passed on to the Parish Council. Funds will be passed to the Parish Council every 6 months - in April and October.

What happens if a development spans two parish areas?

Where a development crosses parish boundaries, each Parish Council will receive a proportionate amount of the levy based on the gross internal area of the development located in their area.

Is there a maximum amount Parish Councils can receive?

Yes. Neighbourhood receipts will be capped per year. A maximum value of £100 per existing council tax dwelling in that parish can be passed to the local council. So, if a parish council has 125 council tax dwellings, the maximum that could be received through the CIL Neighbourhood fund would be £12,500 (125 homes x £100).

What can Parish Councils spend the money on?

CIL monies can be spent on the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure, or anything else that is concerned with addressing demands that development places on an area. This gives communities freedom and power to spend the money on a wide range of things, in consultation with the community.

The wider definition means that the neighbourhood funding pot can be spent on things other than infrastructure (as defined in the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations). For example, the pot could be used to fund affordable housing where it would support the development of the area by addressing the demands that development places on the area.

Where community priorities for infrastructure are the same as those of the local authority, for example if they are agreed a new school or road is needed, the community can agree that the local authority will keep all or part of the 15% funding element to ensure maximum funding is enabled.

What is infrastructure?

‘Infrastructure’ is a broadly defined in the Town and Country Planning Act 2008. 

There are typically 3 broad categories of infrastructure: -

  • Physical infrastructure: e.g. highways, transport links, cycleways, energy supply, water, flood alleviation, waste management
  • Social infrastructure: e.g. education, health, social care, emergency services, art and culture, sports halls, community halls
  • Green infrastructure: e.g. parks, woodlands, play areas, public open space

How do Parish Councils identify projects?

To make clear what they expect CIL money to be spent on, many Parish councils write a list of the infrastructure projects which the community sees as priorities for delivering and would like to see provided with CIL funds. Listing priorities gives clarity and reduces uncertainty as to what the neighbourhood element of CIL will be spent on.

Parish Councils should work closely with charging authorities and neighbouring Parish Councils to agree infrastructure priorities. If the Parish Council agrees with the charging authority’s infrastructure priorities, they can agree that the charging authority should retain the neighbourhood funding to spend on that infrastructure. This prevents money passing between bodies when it is not necessary because priorities are aligned and helps to ensure that all available funding for infrastructure can be used to the greatest effect and to deliver sustainable development.

How long do Parish Councils have to spend the monies?

Parish Councils should spend their local CIL monies within 5 years of receipt. Where money is not used to support development of the area within five years of receipt, or is used for other purposes, the regulations give charging authorities the power to recover those funds. This is to ensure that money is spent, and spent effectively, to benefit the local community.

Do Parish Councils need to monitor anything?

Yes. Just like the charging authority, Parish Councils will have to produce a publicly available annual report on the use of their share of the CIL receipts. This will include the total receipts for the reported year, the projects CIL has been applied to, and the amount of expenditure on each item. The report should be publicly available and published on the Parish or Borough Council website.

Do Parish Councils need to produce a report even if we haven’t received anything?

Reports are only required where a parish council has received CIL revenue.

Where no monies are received in the reporting year, but monies have been received in previous years, a report will still need to be produced detailing the receipts and expenditure.