More than £6 million was collected from developers across Wealden during 2018/19 to help fund infrastructure improvements.
Wealden District Council collect the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) for each square metre of new floorspace created. In Crowborough the rate at April 2018 was £176.92 per sqm. Other areas of Wealden are in a higher band (£235.89 per sqm).
The biggest beneficiary from the £6.12 million collected from the year’s Community Infrastructure Levy will be future road improvements to the Ersham Road Diplocks roundabout and other highway schemes in the south of Wealden. These are receiving an allocation of £4 million.
A further £167,000 will go to support the continued environmental monitoring and management of Ashdown Forest, the major Special Protection Area in the District. Another £51,000 was allocated for maintaining Walshes Park in Crowborough, which provides an alternative place for people and their dogs to exercise away from Ashdown Forest.
Parish and town councils receive either 15% or 25% share to spend on projects. Councils with a Neighbourhood Plan receive the higher percentage. (Crowborough does not have a Neighbourhood Plan). In the financial 2018/19 (the last full reporting period), Crowborough Town Council received £124,000. Town Councillors have agreed to spend up to £150,000 CIL money on the construction of a contemplation building at the new Summersales Cemetery.
Councillor Ann Newton, Wealden Cabinet Member for Planning and Development, said:
We have always insisted that major development with the District must be accompanied by necessary infrastructure improvements.
The improvements do not just benefit the residents of new homes but everyone. The Community Infrastructure Levy is paid by developers on the area of the property they are constricting. It is collected by the District Council. Some of the money is distributed to parish and town councils and the County Council for use on their infrastructure projects, and some retained for use on infrastructure improvements by Wealden. CIL money has helped pay for two new country parks, which provide Suitable Alternative Natural Green Spaces near to the new developments. These are the 70 acre Walshes Park in Crowborough and the 74 acre Horsted Green Park at Uckfield.
Under the CIL Regulations, every local authority has to keep a list (called the Regulation 123 List) of specific infrastructure projects which it intends to fund wholly or partly through CIL receipts. Amendments to the CIL regulations removed the requirement for authorities to publish a 123 List. By no later than 31 December 2020, this list be replaced with an infrastructure funding statement.
The 2018/19 allocation of CIL funds has left a carry–over of £826,000 which will be added to CIL funds held by the Council and used for future infrastructure projects. An amount, which is equivalent to the Council’s administrative costs, has also been re-invested in the Council’s Revolving Infrastructure Fund reserve. This is to be used to kick-start capital spending on new projects while contributions wait to be collected.
Click to read answers to Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) relating to the Community Infrastructure Levy.