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Council seeks first use of infrastucture levy

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Mid Devon District Council is seeking approval to be the first authority to implement the community infrastructure levy.

The planning committee will consider plans to fund the Cullompton relief road using the levy (CIL).

Lawyers have warned councils may be forced to adopt the CIL although the Government has insisted that any levy will be optional.

Only 22% of councils would implement CIL, according to a Drivers Jonas survey earlier this year.

However, associate Mary-Jane O’Neill said the figure could now be much higher after the publication of the draft regulations.

She explained: “Previously, there was an understanding that CIL would be optional. But authorities are now beginning to realise that they will not be able to get funding anywhere else.”

Nevertheless Lovells partner Claire Dutch warned: “Local authorities now accept that they are not going to have a choice about CIL. The problem is that not many are in a position where they have everything in place to adopt it.”

The council’s forward planning and conservation manager Dave Scott said: “We believe that the levy will be a simpler and more transparent method. In my experience, developers prefer certainty in what we are going to ask of them.”

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