CIL Exemption Confirmed for Self-Builders

Self builders are set to be given an exemption from the Community Infrastructure Levy, which has been labelled an 'unfair tax' on one-off projects
Chris Bates, Editor of Build It magazine
by Chris Bates
17th September 2013

Self-builders will be exempted from the ‘unfair tax’ of the community infrastructure levy (CIL), according to an announcement by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG).

Communities Minister Don Foster today announced a broad package of measures designed to continue the government’s support for self-build, including the removal of the burden of the CIL and its predecessor, Section 106 payments, for self-builders.

The announcement, made at the Liberal Democrat Party Conference and now available on the DCLG website, will be a huge boost to potential self-builders who have been priced out of the market by what Foster refers to as ‘unfair taxes’ on genuine self-builders.

Among the wide-ranging measures, headed ‘More government support for self-build surge’, this snippet holds the key for many budding self-builders:

Removing unfair taxes from self-builders

New Council Tax discounts will be introduced for self-build family annexes, removing an unfair council tax penalty surcharge. Meanwhile, genuine self-builders will be exempted from paying inappropriate Section 106 tariffs and the community infrastructure levy, which will cut the cost of self-build by thousands of pounds.

Read the full announcement

More land will be earmarked for one-off private homes through a commitment from the government to work with councils to release extra plots for self-build home projects. New planning practice guidance will be implemented to ensure councils establish – and ultimately fulfill – the demand for self-build in their areas. The Community Right to Reclaim Land will also be strengthened with more data about public sector land that could be released for self-build projects.

A number of complementary steps were also announced, including prividing new grant funding for community self-build groups through the £65m Affordable Homes Guarantee Programee.

NaSBA lobbied for self-build exemption to CIL

The Community Infrastructure Levy was brought into force in April 2010 as a route for councils to raise money to pay for the additional infrastructure required by new developments. On launch, the levy included one-off homes and large extensions.

Today’s announcement sees the culmination of months of concerted lobbying by the National Self-Build Association (NaSBA), of which Build It magazine was a founding member. NaSBA’s excellent work means that new homes that will be genuinely occupied by the self-builder (rather than being built as developments to sell on for profit) will gain immunity from the CIL charge.

Perhaps less expected was the government’s agreement to also abolish Section 106 payments.

The move to exempt self-build projects from the burden of these two charges will reduce costs by tens of thousands of pounds for some projects.

“These measures will open the door for hundreds of potential building projects across the country, and consolidate the progress we’ve already made to establish self-build as a mainstream option,” said Foster.

How will the CIL & Section 106 exemption affect your project? Let us know with the comments box below!

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