Building a business
Cornwall is filled with successful businesses and many are on the brink of expansion - but it might be more complicated than you thought
Here at Classic we are excited to have been awarded planning permission to build a new office on the outskirts of Helston. It has already been a bit of a journey and we have only put the building on paper. The whole thing is new territory for us but the bureaucracy has been a real eye opener! I was regaling some poor unfortunate with the full story recently when they remarked that at least we had got in before the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) hits at the beginning of next year.
I had heard of the CIL but it had dropped off my radar, so I went to all-knowing Google to find out more. Well, I can’t recommend it as an easy read, but I will try to get to the nub of it and leave you to trawl the Web for the detail. After 1 January 2019, if you are looking to get planning to build something that ‘people go into and use’ then it is likely that the CIL will be chargeable. It varies from £400/ m2 to zero depending on where you are in Cornwall. So, for an average house (which Google says is 120m2), the charge in Rock will be £48,000, in St Ives £24,000, Falmouth £12,000 and nothing in Camborne. That is going to be quite an influencer of where we build in Cornwall in the future.
Needless to say there are reliefs and exemptions. The full extent of these are well beyond my intellect and patience, but to pluck a few out; self-build and social housing are largely exempt and you can probably add an annex without having to fork out as long as you do not create a new dwelling and add less than 100m2.
I can see that this is meant to create a clearer way of charging developers for the additional pressure they place on our infrastructure but I am not sure how successful it is. The water gets a lot muddier when you chuck in all the exemptions, the aberrations that will be thrown up around parish boundaries and the fact that CIL runs alongside the existing affordable housing requirements rather than replacing them.
I respect the core aim of making sure that development happens in the right places but I can’t help being wary of hard rules which try to take the place of good judgement, particularly in such nuanced decisions.
‘I was regaling some poor unfortunate with the full story recently when they remarked that at least we had got in before the Community Infrastructure Levy hits…’