WEST Oxfordshire District Council (WODC) is formulating plans to introduce new charges on housing developments in the region.

The council wants to introduce a series of charges under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and is set to launch a six-week consultation to gather views on the initiative.

The CIL is a charge that may be levied on most forms of development to help fund the infrastructure and to support the future growth of an area.

In England, local planning authorities can charge the levy, therefore allowing WODC to do so.

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County councils collect the levy charged by district councils on developments for which the county gives consent.

Homes England, urban development corporations and enterprise zone authorities can also be collecting authorities.

The newly proposed charges vary between £100 per square metre for developments of 11 properties or more in low value areas, to £300 per square metre for developments of ten dwellings and on high value sites.

Non-residential sites including offices, hotels and restaurants will not incur a CIL charge although supermarkets will have a £100 per square metre levy.

Other considerations such as zero carbon developments may result in lower or no charges to meet the council’s commitment to combating climate change.

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WODC aims to be a completely carbon-neutral authority by the end of the decade and the policy to tackle climate change is a keystone of WODC’s five year plan.

Speaking about the potential charged under the CIL, councillor Jeff Haine, cabinet member for strategic planning, said: “Significant housing development is ongoing in West Oxfordshire and is set to carry on to meet continuing demand.

“As a result, it is vital that there is enough infrastructure to support new and growing communities and we believe the CIL is a sensible way of achieving that.”

The CIL was introduced in the UK via the Planning Act 2008, which aims to speed up the process for approving major new infrastructure projects.

The draft CIL charging schedule for the purpose of public consultation will go before a meeting of the council’s cabinet today.