CIL Exemption News

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) news: Self build homes and extensions over 100m2 granted CIL exemption
Chris Bates, Editor of Build It magazine
by Chris Bates
3rd March 2014

Self-builders are now exempt from the CIL charge. The change, which was first mooted back in April 2013 and which we’ve been following with a keen interest, means that people wishing to build their own home qualify for a relief from the burden of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) – potentially saving £10,000s on their projects.

The government formally announced the exemption on 24th February 2014, following the rubber-stamping of the legislation at committee. According to the DCLG website, the change is effective immediately. It is expected to herald an immediate boost in the number of self-build homes starting on site. The government estimates that removing the levy could kickstart up to 3,000 mothballed home building projects.

How can I claim CIL exemption for a self-build home?

Under the new rules, self-builders must apply for relief from the CIL using a two-part Self-Build Exemption form, available via the Planning Portal.

The first document should be submitted prior to commencement. It’s vital that you don’t begin work on site before submitting this form and receiving notice from the local authority that you are exempt. This includes preliminary work, such as digging foundation trenches.

What is the Community Infrastructure Levy?

The CIL is a development charge. It was introduced in 2008 to standardise fees levied at the planning permission stage of building works. It applies in England and Wales.

Monies raised through the CIL must be used on local infrastruture, such as schools, roads and flood defences.

Where the local authority has adopted the CIL regime, any residential development over 100m2 (whether new build or extension) will be liable for a fee, which is set on a per m2 basis.

The second form must be submitted within 6 months of completion. It should be accompanied by a number of supporting documents, including a completion certificate, copy of the deeds, council tax bill, utility bill etc. The forms contain full details of what’s required.

The exemption also counts for self-builders creating their own homes as part of a custom build or community self-build project.

Can I claim CIL exemption if I plan to sell the house?

The short answer is no – this exemption is only for people building their own home as owner-occupiers. If you are building to sell, the government considers you to be a small developer. For that reason, you are required to live in the completed home for three years to remain exempt.

Your local authority will hold a legal charge over your home, which expires after the three-year period has elapsed. If you sell the property within this time, then you will be liable to pay the original Community Infrastructure Levy fee (which is set out in a Liability Notice at the planning permission stages). Once you’ve lived in the house for at least three years, the legal charge is removed.

Do extensions qualify for CIL relief?

The government has also decided to exempt annexes and extensions from the CIL. To qualify, you need to submit a specific exemption form, also available via the Planning Portal website. As with self-build projects, you must use the house as your principal residence for three years after completion to qualify for the exemption. You must not begin work before the council has notified you of its decision. Failure to do so will mean become liable for the levy.

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