CIL is a relatively new level of policy introduced in 2010. Its’ adoption by local authorities has been uneven adding to the confusion surrounding the policy. If you have not yet read our introduction to CIL, we suggest you read it here as it will inform you about what is entailed in the policy.

Following the Guidelines

It has been demonstrated in recent lawful proceedings that courts will support LPAs in their strict application of CIL regulations. Any divergence from regulations will mean the LPA are entitled to refuse grants for relief and immediate payment of CIL will be due. It's equally important to remember that the planning obligations, building regulations, and CIL notifications are all different from each other. Keeping track of these separate requirements can be a challenge so it is suggested that you separate them into their own binders, folders, and email tags to ensure any physical or digital data isn’t confused or lost.


Applying for exemptions or relief is done after receiving a liability notice but before work commences. it also needs to be granted prior to the commencement of development. This is several stages into the CIL process the forms can be looked into earlier to give you the best chance to be accepted. The forms can be found on the Planning Portal website and our previous guide can be found here handy guide.

Deadlines are Deadlines

The system is a prescriptive policy and there is little room for flexibility. Deadlines are everything and if they are missed, serious consequences will occur.

Difficulty can arise when a ‘Commencement Notice’ is not served on time, or at all. Prior to the development commencing on site, you must serve the LPA with a ‘Commencement Notice’ which tells the LPA when development will start. This needs to be done at least one day before development commences. The onus is on the applicant to ensure the notice is submitted AND received by the LPA. Failure to serve the Commencement Notice can result in surcharges and the loss of any exemptions or reliefs. Further to these consequences, the ability to pay the CIL charge in instalments will not be permitted and the full charge will be payable immediately.

Bear in mind that carrying out any material operation on site qualifies as a commencement of work for the purposes of CIL. This includes demolition, raising hoarding, carrying out archaeological investigation and/or preparation works.

Disqualifying Events

A disqualifying event is one which goes against the conditions set out in the relief/exemption notice received from the LPA.

For example, within 6 months of completing a self-build project, you must submit additional supporting evidence along with the relevant CIL form. Failure to do this in the 6-month time frame will result in the fully levy charge becoming payable in full.

Evidence should include proof of ownership, proof of completion date and proof of occupation of the dwelling as your principal residence. You will also have to provide a copy of either an approved claim for VAT refund, a special self-build warranty, or an approved self-build mortgage from a bank or building society.

In the case of charitable purposes or social housing, if the development ceases to be used for those purposes within a period of seven years then CIL relief will become payable. With self-build housing, the clawback period is three years.

Retrospective Applications

So, what happens with CIL if you make an application for planning permission after development has taken place on site? CIL is charged on development for which planning permission is granted and so the levy will be chargeable on any development which receives retrospective planning permission. The difficulty here arises in relation to reliefs and exemptions from the CIL charge. An exemption requires the submission of a ‘Commencement Notice’ which is served before development starts on site. CIL regulations states that the date of commencement in retrospective planning applications is the date it is granted permission so, unfortunately, a commencement notice cannot be served as work has already commenced.

We have to say CIL is difficult to get right. At Arkhi we’re familiar with the process and can help avoid unnecessary charges. If you would like to find out more or discuss your project with one of the Arkhi team, get in touch on 01260 540170 or drop us an email at

Recent Posts

See All
  • Mobile_phone_Social_bar
  • Houzz
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube