Appendix 2 Draft Regulation 123 List

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Support

Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21756

Received: 26/03/2015

Respondent: SeaChange Sussex

Representation:

Sea Change Sussex welcomes the inclusion of the following project within the draft list:
New road from development access junction north to connect with Watermill Lane and A269 Ninfield Road known as the North Bexhill Access Road.
Junction improvements at A269/ Watermill Lane
Improvements to ensure connectivity and accessibility of new development into existing networks, communities, town and secondary centres. These projects are integrated within the Hastings Bexhill Growth Area and form part of the overall development package. It would seem logical that these projects are incorporated in the work being undertaken by Sea Change Sussex.
.

Full text:

Sea Change Sussex welcomes the inclusion of the following project within the draft list:
New road from development access junction north to connect with Watermill Lane and A269 Ninfield Road known as the North Bexhill Access Road.
Junction improvements at A269/ Watermill Lane
Improvements to ensure connectivity and accessibility of new development into existing networks, communities, town and secondary centres. These projects are integrated within the Hastings Bexhill Growth Area and form part of the overall development package. It would seem logical that these projects are incorporated in the work being undertaken by Sea Change Sussex.
.

Comment

Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21782

Received: 16/03/2015

Respondent: Robertsbridge Enterprise Group

Representation:

3 We refer to the statement in Appendix 2 and particularly to the fact that it states: 'RDC retains the right to determine where CIL contributions are spent and projects and priorities will be set out through governance protocols'. Where then is the consultation about these all-important 'governance protocols' which would appear to go the heart of any fair operation of CIL levies?

Full text:

On behalf of Robertsbridge Enterprise Group, we would wish to make the following comments:

1 Our first comment is unrelated to the specific detail in this consultation document, but is a simple question; why has it taken RDC so long to get to this stage, particularly in the light of its performance in using s106 obligations? The funding gap of £45m could have been so much smaller had RDC seized the opportunity from the start to investigate CIL.
2 The great differential between Zone 1 and Zone 2 rate at the boundary line seem very difficult to justify. By way of comparison, at the western boundary of Zone 1, Wealden are proposing charging £200, or £150 in the southern parts. That would appear to be a fairer differential, considering the relative few differences at the border between Zones 1 and Zone 2 as to the vibrancy and attractiveness of the respective communities.
3 We refer to the statement in Appendix 2 and particularly to the fact that it states: 'RDC retains the right to determine where CIL contributions are spent and projects and priorities will be set out through governance protocols'. Where then is the consultation about these all-important 'governance protocols' which would appear to go the heart of any fair operation of CIL levies?
4 It is interesting to note that the only place-specific projects referred to are in Bexhill, Battle and Rye. Why is this? Does it mean that priorities have already been accorded to these projects as they are now site-specific?
5 If it is possible to identify certain road projects in Bexhill, why has it not been possible to identify road projects elsewhere in Rother?
6 What consultation will take place with parishes, and in particular parishes with emerging Neighbourhood Plans, on specific ideas for the R123 list?
7 There are a number of worthy project ideas listed in Infrastructure Delivery Plan (February 2015) but no sites are identified. Therefore it is impossible to know whether any specific project, say for transport, (improvement of bus services) or (improvement to walking and cycling corridors) or (access improvements to stations) or (more bus/transport services serving groups with access difficulties) can be appreciatively assessed or indeed prioritised. The same question applies to other sections such as library services, green infrastructure, environment and emergency services.

If you need any further information, please let me know.

Yours faithfully

Stephen Hardy
Chairman
Robertsbridge Enterprise Group

Comment

Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21785

Received: 16/03/2015

Respondent: Robertsbridge Enterprise Group

Representation:

6 What consultation will take place with parishes, and in particular parishes with emerging Neighbourhood Plans, on specific ideas for the R123 list?

Full text:

On behalf of Robertsbridge Enterprise Group, we would wish to make the following comments:

1 Our first comment is unrelated to the specific detail in this consultation document, but is a simple question; why has it taken RDC so long to get to this stage, particularly in the light of its performance in using s106 obligations? The funding gap of £45m could have been so much smaller had RDC seized the opportunity from the start to investigate CIL.
2 The great differential between Zone 1 and Zone 2 rate at the boundary line seem very difficult to justify. By way of comparison, at the western boundary of Zone 1, Wealden are proposing charging £200, or £150 in the southern parts. That would appear to be a fairer differential, considering the relative few differences at the border between Zones 1 and Zone 2 as to the vibrancy and attractiveness of the respective communities.
3 We refer to the statement in Appendix 2 and particularly to the fact that it states: 'RDC retains the right to determine where CIL contributions are spent and projects and priorities will be set out through governance protocols'. Where then is the consultation about these all-important 'governance protocols' which would appear to go the heart of any fair operation of CIL levies?
4 It is interesting to note that the only place-specific projects referred to are in Bexhill, Battle and Rye. Why is this? Does it mean that priorities have already been accorded to these projects as they are now site-specific?
5 If it is possible to identify certain road projects in Bexhill, why has it not been possible to identify road projects elsewhere in Rother?
6 What consultation will take place with parishes, and in particular parishes with emerging Neighbourhood Plans, on specific ideas for the R123 list?
7 There are a number of worthy project ideas listed in Infrastructure Delivery Plan (February 2015) but no sites are identified. Therefore it is impossible to know whether any specific project, say for transport, (improvement of bus services) or (improvement to walking and cycling corridors) or (access improvements to stations) or (more bus/transport services serving groups with access difficulties) can be appreciatively assessed or indeed prioritised. The same question applies to other sections such as library services, green infrastructure, environment and emergency services.

If you need any further information, please let me know.

Yours faithfully

Stephen Hardy
Chairman
Robertsbridge Enterprise Group

Comment

Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21789

Received: 26/03/2015

Respondent: Land Securities plc

Agent: CGMS Ltd

Representation:

The preparation and inclusion of infrastructure elements to the Regulation 123 List needs to be clearly defined and understood to avoid double counting (known as "double -dipping").

Full text:

Proposed CIL Rates

The draft charging schedule proposes for all in centre convenience retail for all three centres (Bexhill, Rye and Battle) a flat rate of £100 per sqm. For out of centre retail, the proposed rate for convenience floorspace is £120 per sqm and comparison floorspace is £250 per sqm. There is a nil chargeable rate for in centre comparison goods.

We are concerned that the CIL rates proposed for out of centre retail floorspace are unrealistic, have not been properly substantiated by appropriate evidence, and are inconsistent with rates now being charged or promoted by other local authorities in the region. If the rates for out of centre floorspace were to be adopted at the level proposed, this will discourage not only our client from making its investment but are also likely to deter other potential developments in Rother. We believe that the proposed charges will directly lead to new development, investment and jobs being lost from Rother to other areas nearby with lower, more realistic CIL rates.

In making the representations CgMs, wish to formally request:

(a) Notification of the draft schedule being submitted to the Examiner appointed by the Secretary of State to consider the Draft Charging Schedule;
(b) The right to be heard by the appointed Examiner at the examination;
(c) Notification of the publication of the recommendations of the Examiner; and
(d) Notification of the approval of the adopted Charging Schedule.

Government Advice1 makes it clear that contributions should not be set at levels which will discourage development; it clearly states:

"Charging authorities wishing to introduce the levy should propose a rate which does not put at serious risk the overall development of their area. They will need to draw the infrastructure planning that underpins the development strategy for their area. Charging authorities will use that evidence to strike an appropriate balance between the desirability of funding infrastructure from the levy and the potential effects of the levy upon economic viability of development across their area."

Rationale for Different Charges for Retail

The Schedule seeks to impose substantially higher rates on retail development at out of centre locations. However, conversely the turnover, rents and indeed, the traffic generation associated with retail stores is not directly proportionate to the size of the retail unit. For example, most retailers on retail parks would have larger proportions of back of house use than the town centre units.
Applying the proposed rate to larger retail park operators as explained above could be prohibitive and significantly affect potential viability.

Level of Charge

It is noteworthy that the level of charge for major retail development contained in the draft Schedule for Rother is not consistent with those levels already adopted and/or being charged for out of retail development elsewhere in the region.
Table 1 summaries charging schedules for large scale retail development in other nearby districts that are being proposed at the time of writing. These districts are in more advanced stages in terms of CIL preparation.

Eastbourne £80sqm

Wealdon £20-100sqm

Lewes £75

In light of the above, we have reviewed the Council's evidence which seeks to substantiate the proposed rate. We consider that this evidence, in itself, does not
adequately justify what is, for comparison goods development in particular, an exceptionally high rate for out of centre retail development.

The Economic Viability Assessment supporting the proposed DCS for retail warehouse acknowledges that the retail warehouse market has been relatively flat in recent times, in terms of new build the consultants consider that there may potentially be more activity in the future. The figures are based on the assumption that building costs for retail warehouses are relatively low, and generate more value when there is occupier demand. However, there is a lack of information on how this has been calculated. Furthermore, we consider that this does not reflect likely future costs and values. The retail warehouse market has been affected by rising costs and diminishing margins partly affected by the growth in internet retailing. In addition, many Councils, including Rother, require high quality design for new retail development and do not accept standard retail designs, which significantly increase development costs and, necessarily affect profitability. If the nature of the site is constrained, further costs would arise such as highway solutions and ground conditions.

The proposed comparison goods CIL level in the draft Schedule is more than double the convenience figure although Valuation Office figures within the District do not show a material difference in rateable value psm and turnover densities for convenience goods are generally much higher for foodstores than for retail warehouses. For example, turnover psm for Tesco is £11,715 whereas B&Q is £1,433 psm and Pets at Home is £2,156. In most areas, accordingly, the CIL rate for convenience goods is higher than for comparison goods and Rother's figures are inconsistent with that pattern.

Having reviewed the evidence issued in support of the proposed charging rate, we believe that insufficient evidence has been presented to explain the significant differential that exists between rate being proposed for out of town retail development in Rother with comparable rates already proposed elsewhere in the region. In the light of advice contained in the Council's own evidence base, and the experience of other districts in arriving at their own rates for out of centre retail scheme, we would recommend that the proposed rate in the draft Charging Schedule be reduced to a more realistic level which will not discourage inward investment into the district.

Discretionary Relief for Exceptional Circumstances

The Regulations provide the Charging Authority with discretionary powers to grant relief in exceptional circumstances. We are concerned that the Council does not intend to implement any discretionary exemptions.

By at least safeguarding the option for discretionary relief, the Council will be able to assess major development on a case by case basis. We would strongly recommend that the Council maintains the flexibility in its Charging Schedule to assess whether the provisions contained in a S106 or other agreement might represent a more appropriate mechanism to secure contributions and/or infrastructure than monies raised via CIL. The preparation and inclusion of infrastructure elements to the Regulation 123 List needs to be clearly defined and understood to avoid double counting (known as "double -dipping"). In conclusion therefore, we believe that, in accordance with prevailing guidance, the Council needs to pay closer regard to the balance between funding required infrastructure through its CIL and the potential impact that the imposition of the levy might have on economic viability of large scale retail development. As a result, we believe that the proposed rate for large scale retail development in the draft Charging Schedule is too high. Were it to be applied in the way proposed to large retail proposals, it would put development at risk and, in doing so, prevent much-needed economic development coming forward in the Borough and/divert it elsewhere. I would be grateful if in the light of the above representations, the Council consider appropriate amendments to rates for out of centre retail development contained in the draft Charging Schedule in order to address the issues raised.

Comment

Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21796

Received: 19/03/2015

Respondent: Sussex Police

Agent: Sussex Police

Representation:

Sussex Police fully support the Draft Regulation 123 List accompanying the Draft Charging Schedule. It is noted that no specific 'Emergency Services' infrastructure is included within the Draft Regulation 123 List, nor within the latest draft of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) Schedule (February 2015). In summary, these include: Capital estate projects, capital costs associated with providing supporting infrastructure including additional fleet (in the form of marked and unmarked cars to enable police patrols or operation of our Road Policing Unit); additional IT/Communications and start up costs associated with the additional staff.

Full text:

Paragraph 4
Sussex Police strongly support the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy within the charging area of Rother District, as set out in the Draft Charging Schedule.

The Infrastructure Funding Gap Analysis provides evidence that there is a significant funding deficit, and the proposed levy will go partway to bridging that gap and thereby providing the infrastructure needed to support development in the Core Strategy. This infrastructure, including that required by Sussex Police, is vital to addressing the impacts of future development and achieving safe and sustainable future communities.

Paragraph 12

It is noted that an Instalment Policy is proposed for the charging of the levy. It is agreed that this is a realistic approach to the application of CIL and will balance the desirability of funding necessary infrastructure against the potential effect on economic viability of doing so. However, the provision of policing infrastructure is critical to the delivery of safe, sustainable communities and will need to be provided at early stages of the development process. This is evidenced by the increased crime rates Sussex Police have noted in connection with theft from construction sites. There is also a need to provide safe and accessible environments where crime and disorder, and the fear of crime do not undermine the quality of life or community cohesion as part of planning for sustainable development and communities, as outlined in paragraphs 58 (5) and 69 (3) of the National Planning Policy Framework 2012. This is raised for information only, to inform the drafting and application of any Instalment Policy, and to ensure that policing infrastructure is recognised as a critical infrastructure type which should be considered early in the application of CIL.

Appendix 2
Sussex Police fully support the Draft Regulation 123 List accompanying the Draft Charging Schedule. The inclusion of 'Emergency Services' to be wholly or partly funded by CIL is particularly welcomed. It is also noted that this funding is for the 'provision of facilities.' Use of the term 'facilities' is welcomed as this ensures the levy may be utilised for the necessary provision, expansion and adaptation of Police Stations and Estate, as well as the provision of wider community safety facilities and supporting infrastructure, as permissible under CIL Guidance.

However, it is noted that no specific 'Emergency Services' infrastructure is included within the Draft Regulation 123 List, nor within the latest draft of the Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) Schedule (February 2015). While it may be appropriate to maintain the general reference to "Emergency Services: Provision of facilities to address future needs" within the Regulation 123 List, Sussex Police would welcome inclusion of more detail on the Force's infrastructure needs within the IDP. This would provide further guidance and evidence that the Draft Charging Schedule and Regulation 123 List are based on appropriate available evidence on infrastructure planning. It would also ensure that this infrastructure is included as fundamental to the delivery of the objectives and spatial strategy of the Core Strategy, and provide a timeframe and importance rating for the provision of policing infrastructure.

Noting that the IDP is intended to be a "living document", Sussex Police would welcome further joint work on inclusion of more detailed information on policing infrastructure within the IDP Schedule, in the appropriate format. This should be based on the infrastructure needs set out to Rother District Council in June 2014. In summary, these include:

* Capital estate projects associated with accommodating additional staff required to provide policing services to the growing population of Rother, including the need to adapt Bexhill and Rye Police Stations to sufficiently accommodate new staff and equipment. There will also be the need to consider space in the new Battle Police Station, when this is reprovided as set out in the Sussex Police Estates Strategy 2013-2018.
* As Sussex Police provide force wide policing, there are also cross boundary infrastructure requirements. The Sussex Police Headquarters (based in Lewes) would require extension, adaptation and modernisation over the coming years to meet the policing needs of the growing population at a force-wide level, including the growth identified in Rother. There are also costs associated with custody provision from Hastings and Eastbourne for Rother, which are required as a result of development across all Districts in Sussex.
* In addition to the extended/refurbished/new police stations required, there will also be capital costs associated with providing supporting infrastructure required in connection with new development. This supporting infrastructure may include additional fleet (in the form of marked and unmarked cars to enable police patrols or operation of our Road Policing Unit); additional IT/Communications (including remote IT facilities to enable more effective policing and carrying out of duties on site, away from local police stations); supporting equipment (such as the provision of Automatic Number Plate Recognition cameras on key transport links in the District, including the new Hastings/Bexhill Link Road to aid in the detection of crime, and/or CCTV cameras within key locations of Anti Social Behaviour); and start up costs associated with the additional staff needed due to increased crime levels associated with new development (such as uniform costs, protective equipment costs, initial training).


Object

Draft Charging Schedule and Draft Regulation 123 List

Representation ID: 21798

Received: 27/03/2015

Respondent: Marchfield Strategic Land Ltd

Agent: JB Planning Associates Ltd.

Representation:

A lack of compliance with national guidance, the DCS is not in accordance with CIL Regulation 14 for a variety of reasons relating to both the evidence base and Draft R123 List. The Council is likely to encounter significant problems with the impact of R123 on the pooling of S106 contributions post April 2015 unless the lack of transparency within the Draft R123 List is resolved..

To view the report by Pioneer please click on the following link:

http://www.rother.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=23609

Full text:

I write on behalf of our client - Marchfield (Strategic Land) Ltd - in response to the consultation on the Rother District Council Draft Charging Schedule (DCS) and Draft Regulation 123 (R123) List.

Our client has commissioned a report from Pioneer Property Services Ltd that builds on observations raised previously by JB Planning Associates in response to the Preliminary Draft Community Infrastructure Levy Charging Schedule (August to September 2014) and includes additional observations on the basis of the updated evidence now published by the Council.

The overall conclusion of the attached report is that, in addition to a lack of compliance with national guidance, the DCS is not in accordance with CIL Regulation 14 for a variety of reasons relating to both the evidence base and Draft R123 List. The report also raises concerns regarding the impact of the Draft R123 List on the pooling of S106 contributions post April 2015 as a result of the lack of clarity within the Draft R123 List.

I appreciate that the Council response form expresses a preference for each representation to be related to a paragraph of the DCS but in essence it is the document as a whole that we consider to be contrary to the Regulations by virtue of an inadequate evidence base, hence why the representations are presented in a report format for attachment to the response form. In our view, it is not a case of simply recommending amendments to the DCS but rather that we consider that significant additional work is required before the DCS or the Draft R123 List can be considered sound.

The key conclusions of the Pioneer report are:

Until further work on the IDP and associated evidence base is undertaken and the SADPD is meaningfully advanced the viability assessment cannot be robustly progressed and a CIL Charge should NOT be introduced. The Charging Rates proposed through the DCS (Table 1) are not robustly demonstrated to be viable, particularly in combination with post CIL planning obligation costs and site specific Strategic Infrastructure costs on larger Greenfield and Strategic sites. Currently the DCS does not accord with CIL Regulation 14 or national guidance. Crucially:

The DCS should not be progressed until it is informed by additional work
undertaken to take the concerns set out above regarding the IDP and viability
evidence base into account.

It is agreed that it should include an instalment policy.

The introduction of a policy to offer discretionary relief for Exceptional
Circumstances (i.e. in response to economic viability on a case by case basis for
eligible developments as set out in the National Planning Policy Guidance)
would be welcomed, particularly given the viability concerns raised above.
However, the introduction of relief from the CIL payment is a poor substitute for
ensuring viable and deliverable CIL payments and Development Plan policies at
the outset, and cannot render a planning approach that results in an unviable
cumulative level of CIL / Policy burdens in accordance with national guidance.

Currently there remains a lack of clarity in terms of whether the CIL items set out
in the Draft R123 List can 'operate in a complementary way' with the Section 106
contributions that will be sought in accordance with the NPPG and the underpinning CIL Regulations. Concerns have been raised in previous CIL
representations submitted on behalf of Marchfield (Strategic Land) Ltd in
September 2014 regarding the transparency of the Draft R123 List.

In summary, the amended DCS, Draft R123 List and updated supporting evidence base do not resolve concerns raised in these and previous representations submitted on behalf of Marchfield (Strategic) Land Ltd and further it is our view that the DCS is contrary to CIL Regulation 14 and national guidance. In addition, it is our view that the Council is likely to encounter significant problems with the impact of R123 on the pooling of S106 contributions
post April 2015 unless the lack of transparency within the Draft R123 List is resolved.

To view the report by Pioneer please click on the following link:

http://www.rother.gov.uk/CHttpHandler.ashx?id=23609