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Can a retrospective application be CIL exempt?



The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) can be a rabbit warren. Oftentimes, even architects and fellow town planners can be left bewildered, wondering whether their chosen planning strategy would leave them liable for CIL. This is a completely normal situation and councils, planning professionals and their clients should be more understanding of the trepidation and stress this uncertainty can cause.


Viable Placemaking can work hand in hand with architects, town planners, housebuilders and other professionals to assist with the economic portion of a development – whether it is CIL, Viability or otherwise. Our dedicated page on CIL (which you can find here) gives some insight on the charge and recommends that the first stage is to get a CIL Review, so that we can best understand your specific situation.


In a recent case, Viable Placemaking provided advice to a fellow town planning consultant who was submitting a Certificate of Lawfulness for an existing dwellinghouse. Given this was a retrospective application, as it was in lawful use, the consultant wanted to ensure that there were no hidden CIL-tripwires. Viable Placemaking provided advice which raised some key questions which it might be worth considering for your development:


  1. When did development commence for planning purposes?

  2. When did development commence for CIL purposes?

  3. Are the above different?

  4. When was the CIL Charging Schedule Adopted?


If the above are different, ensuring the planning submission is thoughtfully worded can be crucial in not becoming unnecessary liable to pay potentially thousands of pounds.


As we say in our CIL service page, the first point to note is that if you’ve received a CIL notice that you do not start development, if you have not already done so, as this can reduce the number of strategies which could mitigate or reduce your CIL charge.

If you would like any assistance with CIL, please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team.

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