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CIL fund to close to applications

By Dominic Robertson | Politics | Published:

A multi-million pound fund for community projects like playgrounds and village halls is to close to applications, because Shropshire Council says there is not enough money to cover all the requests.

The authority has insisted that there will be other rounds of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funding in future, but has set a deadline of February 15 for current applications.

The issue of CIL funding has been hit by controversy with some town and parish councils claiming they were being denied money from the fund – despite approving planning applications on the basis they would receive the money.

Shropshire Council defended itself by insisting that its policy for CIL funds had always been the same and had always been followed.

In October last year there was around £17million in the council's CIL fund.

The authority has now revealed that it will also be discussing changes to the way CIL is allocated in the future – but says no changes will be made without consultation.

A spokesman for the authority said: "Shropshire Council has set a first deadline for expressions of interest for CIL Local support of February 15.

"This will enable us to assess all expressions of interest in-the-round. We do not have enough CIL Local funding available to cover all project needs, and this deadline approach will enable us to assess all expressions of interest together on an equal footing, rather than on an ad-hoc basis.

"Whilst the current round of expressions of interest will close on 15 February, there will be other rounds in future.

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"The process and timescale for this will be discussed with town councils and parish councils over the coming months, as part of a wider communications and consultation process. This consultation process will include initial discussions around options for CIL spend in future. No changes will be made to CIL policy without consultation."

The CIL fee is paid by developers as part of the planning process.

It was created to pay for improvements to communities where homes are being built.

According to the authority’s current guidance, five per cent of the CIL levy on a development goes to Shropshire Council as an administrative fee, and 25 per cent to the local town or parish council where the development takes place – to be spent on ‘locally identified infrastructure projects’.

Of the remaining contribution, 10 per cent goes to Shropshire Council’s ‘strategic infrastructure fund’, and 90 per cent to a ‘local infrastructure fund’.

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