Over £100,000 paid to North Somerset communities to help meet development pressures

Communities in North Somerset are benefiting directly from developer payments to address the pressures of housing growth.

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) was introduced by North Somerset Council last year. Developers are required to pay the levy to help fund the cost of infrastructure such as schools and transport improvements.

Fifteen per cent of the money is passed by the council to the town or parish council where the development takes place. This increases to 25 per cent if the council has an adopted neighbourhood plan. The rest is retained by North Somerset Council to spend on infrastructure to support development.

The fund is expected to build up year-on-year for the first few years. Payments are made to town and parish councils every six months and the latest payments made this month are the biggest yet totalling £107,424. They include:

  • Yatton – £49,324.82
  • Weston-super-Mare – £24,615
  • Winscombe and Sandford – £13,464.69
  • Locking – £11,491.59
  • Backwell – £2,740
  • Pill and Easton-in-Gordano – £2,233.79
  • Wrington – £1,250.37
  • Kewstoke – £1,167.96
  • Congresbury – £673.32
  • Banwell – £400.80.

Town and parish councils can spend the money as they choose, providing it is for some form of infrastructure to support development.

“I’m delighted to see this money going direct to communities to support them in providing new infrastructure for the benefit of their residents,” said Cllr James Tonkin, the council’s executive member for planning. “It’s entirely right that communities should benefit first-hand from this funding which can make a significant difference at local level.”

Earlier this summer North Somerset Council allocated £114,000 of its own CIL to help meet the costs of a new primary school in Yatton, where there has been substantial housing growth. The council expects to commit more of its funding to similar projects over the next few years and will publish an annual report each year detailing the income and how it has been used.

In North Somerset the Community Infrastructure Levy applies primarily to retail and residential developments and the rates vary according to the size, location and type of development. There are exceptions for affordable housing and properties being built for the owner’s own use (for example house extensions) as well as for charitable projects. There is no charge on employment or community buildings.

Further guidance on the CIL can be found at www.n-somerset.gov.uk/cil.