WHAT IS CIL?
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge paid by developers (not householders) when beginning a new development. The Council sets a tariff of £x per sqm depending on the use and location. This is in parallel to a Section 106 legal agreement where payment is made for services and uses such as affordable housing in order to make a development acceptable and to conform with planning policy.
CIL payments are paid into a central ‘pot’ and are then divided into central or strategic CIL and neighbourhood CIL. The 21 forums in Westminster can access up to 15% of the CIL generated in their area or 25% if they have a ‘made’ neighbourhood plan. Fitzrovia West’s plan was formally approved by the Council on 8 October 2021.
Full information is available on the Council’s website here:
Your Guide to Applying for Neighbourhood CIL Funding
What is Neighbourhood CIL?
FitzWest has access to 25% of CIL generated in our area and this means the Forum can submit projects it wishes to see implemented as well as endorsing projects submitted by other charitable organisations based in the area. Projects should meet the following criteria:
- They should provide infrastructure which benefits those living and working in the area;
- They should provide additional infrastructure for defined sections of the population where facilities and services are insufficient or lacking;
- They should be non-discriminatory and meet all other legal requirements in the way they are delivered and operate;
- They should meet policy objectives as set out in the Council’s City Plan 2019 – 40 and the Neighbourhood Plan 2020;
- They should conform to guidance provided by the Council as set out on the website above.
What can Neighbourhood CIL be used for?
The CIL website provides the following guidance on what will be considered for funding:
‘By law, CIL money must be spent on the provision, improvement, replacement, operation, or maintenance of infrastructure needed to support development. CIL can be used to increase the capacity of existing infrastructure or to repair failing existing infrastructure, if that is necessary to support development, below are some examples of projects that have been funded with CIL:
- Prevention of crime and anti-social behaviour, such as CCTV installations;
- Public Realm enhancements;
- Transport/highways, such as junction improvements to improve pedestrian safety, electric charging rollout, cycle docking stations, bridge refurbishment /corrosion protection;
- Open Spaces, such as WCC parks, landscaping and play facilities and upgrades;
- Health facilities;
- Sports & Leisure facilities;
- Utilities/Waste, e.g. deep drainage improvements, Street Markets utilities and improvements.
- Feasibility studies and research to enable the identification of eligible infrastructure projects.
CIL money cannot be used to fund affordable housing. Affordable housing paid for by cross-subsidy on mainly market housing developments will continue to be provided through section 106 agreements’.
Who can submit bids for CIL funding?
Any local Westminster community organisation can apply for Neighbourhood CIL funding so long as the project meets the CIL regulations and the criteria set out in the application form.
When drafting project proposals, it is important that you consult members of your local community who may have an interest in the project – this includes Ward Councillors, community organisations, residents’ groups, amenity societies, individual businesses, and business improvement districts.
You are strongly advised to notify and consult the FitzWest Forum if you have a project in mind. It is the Forum which will decide whether it supports the project and may suggest changes to ensure it meets the criteria. The Forum also makes the final submission to the Council.
Please contact us by emailing: firstname.lastname@example.org
What is the role of the Fitzrovia West Neighbourhood Forum?
It is the Forum’s role to identify priorities in the area and to encourage organisations to submit projects. We can also provide advice on how much funding is available and the dates of relevant meetings.
The Forum has a CIL working group which will consider all applications.
The membership is:
- Yoram Blumann
- Walid Sheikh
- Barbara Corr
- Jace Tyrrell
- Nick Bailey
- Anna Goodburn
- Julia Haythorn
If you are interested in being part of this CIL working group, please get in touch on email@example.com
It is this group which determines which projects are prioritized and then submits them to the Council.
The Council has a committee which considers CIL funding applications and this normally meets four times a year. A date for submission of proposals is advertised on the neighbourhood CIL website.
How does the Forum decide which bids to support?
The CIL working group will be publishing more detailed guidelines on the presentation and selection of projects in the near future.
What are the procedures for the Council deciding whether a project is funded?
The Council’s website summarises the main stages as follows:
- Scoping and planning stage – Neighbourhood Forum/organisation prepares a bid with support and guidance from the CIL Team, the local community and Ward Members. The bid must be in compliance with CIL regulations.
- Submission and review stage – once finalised, the Neighbourhood Forum will submit the bid to the CIL Team who will then review it with the CIL Governance Group and put it forward for decision by the CIL Committee via a published report. Applications must be submitted by the designated Neighbourhood Forum where applicable.
- Committee stage – the CIL Committee will then decide whether to allocate funds to the project in quarterly live hearings.
- Allocation and commissioning – once allocations have been approved, the project can start. With support from the CIL Team, the Neighbourhood Forums will commission the project.
- Draw down/ release of funds – once CIL Team has been provided with an invoice or evidence of imminent spend, the monies will then be released into the relevant account.
What is the difference between projects on public and private land?
Extract from the Council’s website:
For Projects on Council Owned Land
‘For projects that are going to be delivered on council owned land (for example, on a public highway, open spaces, parks, and recreational grounds), forums are at liberty to procure a contractor of their choice in consultation with the council. As the landowner, the council must approve of the delivery partner and the specification of the work being delivered. The CIL Team can support Neighbourhood Forums when commissioning a project and in administering the allocation of CIL monies’.
For Projects on Privately Owned Land
‘For projects that are taking place on private land, or for projects that involve the procurement of consultants (such as for a piece of research), the council’s involvement will be limited, but the CIL Team can provide the appropriate support and direction where necessary’.
Once a project has been identified and there is support from ward councillors and members of the local community for it to be developed into a proposal, please fill in the Neighbourhood CIL application form and submit it to the neighbourhood forum on firstname.lastname@example.org
The CIL application form can be downloaded here:
General advice on preparing a project bid:
- Plan ahead of the submission date;
- Identify what you need and select a contractor who can cost and implement the project;
- Identify other funding sources which can contribute to the project;
- Start completing the application form and consult ward councillors when you have enough information;
- Consult potential users, residents, businesses and other community organisations;
- Consult the Forum early in the process to see if it is likely to support your project;
- Make sure you meet the Forum’s and the Council’s criteria for funding.
Sources of Information:
Westminster Neighbourhood CIL application form
West End ward councillors (south of New Cavendish St): Tim Barnes, Jonathan Glanz, Pancho Lewis
Marylebone High Street ward councillors (north of New Cavendish St): Ian Bott, Ian Rowley and Karen Scarborough,
Westminster CIL Team: CILS106projects@westminster.gov.uk
FitzWest Neighbourhood Forum: email@example.com