Councils spend just 16% of CIL on infrastructure, investigation shows

Millions of pounds of CIL money remains unspent, an investigation by Horticulture Week's sister magazine Planning has found.

Councils spend just 16% of CIL on infrastructure. Image: Tortensimon/Pixabay
Councils spend just 16% of CIL on infrastructure. Image: Tortensimon/Pixabay

The first 32 councils to start charging the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) have spent just 16% of the tens of millions of pounds they have collected on infrastructure, according to a Planning investigation.

More than one in three of these authorities, some of whom started charging CIL more than five years ago, have not spent any of the money of infrastructure, Planning's research reveals.

The 32 councils have, to date, spent a total of £26.5 million on infrastructure out of £165.3 million they have accumulated.

CIL was introduced in 2010 to allow councils could tax development to fund the local infrastructure projects.

The investigation shows that the 13 councils that have yet to spend any CIL income on infrastructure include the London boroughs Brent and Harrow, and Newark and Sherwood, the first authority to introduce CIL in late 2011.

Wandsworth Council is the authority with the greatest difference between CIL income and infrastructure spend, at £39.3 million, followed by Brent with £21.9 million and Croydon with £7.9 million.

The figures show a sharp difference between London and the rest of the country. 

Click here for the full story and link to the full investigation.

When CIL was proposed in 2013, landscape and parks professionals warned it would lead to less money being available for local green-space improvements.

However, confirmation by the Department for Communities & Local Government that CIL can be used for green space maintenance as well as capital projects was welcomed in 2014. 

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