The local authority is proposing a Community Infrastructure Levy to help fund facilities and infrastructure alongside residential development.
The CIL is designed to complement Section 106 agreements, by which developers make contributions to support infrastructure such as highways, access, schools and medical facilities, and would be payable once new developments start construction. The amount paid is is calculated by volume of eligible floor space.
The draft charging schedule, which follows an initial consultation that took place in spring, sets out the various rates that would apply for new development, alongside five different charging zones throughout the borough. These zones are based on the costs and viability of new development, rather than the cost of new infrastructure.
The proposal is for five charging zones for residential development, ranging from a zero rate in many built-up areas through to £168 per sq m. With the exception of retail development at Handforth Dean and Grand Junction Retail Park in Crewe, commercial development and new shops are proposed to be zero-rated.
Nationally, the government is reviewing infrastructure levies, with the outcome of its review and any changes expected to be announced in the autumn Budget.
In developing a CIL charge, Cheshire East intends to keep its approach to CIL under review in the light of any future changes to its overall operation. The consultation is now open and will run for six weeks, concluding on 6 November. Full details can be found via the council’s website.
Cllr Ainsley Arnold, Cheshire East Council cabinet member for housing and planning, said: “Our borough is growing and we want to ensure that sufficient funding is in place to pay for new community facilities.
“A Community Infrastructure Levy provides one way of contributing to infrastructure and is a fair and consistent method of funding. We are keen to engage with all stakeholders with an interest in new developments to ensure we set the right rates for the different parts of our borough.”