Community Infrastructure Levy bidding prospectus 2022-2025


We are committed to embracing growth and enabling infrastructure, and our decision to introduce the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is integral to achieving this strategic priority.

We have an adopted Local Plan in place and is in the process of reviewing it through the Maidstone Local Plan Review. These plans will see continued growth of the borough, particularly housing, and it is vital that our infrastructure delivery continues to keep track with this.

All known infrastructure projects are already featured in the Maidstone Borough Council (MBC) Infrastructure Delivery Plan, but others will also be considered if they are consistent with our strategic priorities that are set out within the prospectus.

The COVID-19 pandemic has brought about many changes to our daily lives and routines, some of which will be temporary, and others longer lasting, such as a definite shift to homeworking. We are keen to understand and recognise these changes, in terms of the types of infrastructure that it will support in the future. Similarly, as central, and local government endeavour to build the post pandemic recovery, there will be new funding streams available for infrastructure projects, and so our prospectus encourages CIL bids that could help unlock such funding for ever more ambitious and transformative projects.

Furthermore, we recently acknowledged the emerging climate and biodiversity emergencies, as has our upper tier authority, Kent County Council. Therefore, we are keen to fund projects that are consistent with addressing these issues too.

Finally, we wish to establish and sustain productive partnerships with our infrastructure delivery partners, so that there can be a shared focus upon delivery over the longer term. Indeed, we have allocated a further £5m within its own capital programme that it can use to top up the amount of CIL monies available.

We will make forward allocations of CIL monies already held, so infrastructure delivery partners can plan with certainty.

We look forward to receiving your proposals.

    Introduction

    The 2021/22 Strategic Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) bidding cycle is open for bids from 3 May 2022 until 1 July 2022.

    The guidance within this page aims to provide assistance to those completing a strategic CIL bid application form. We strongly advise that potential bidders read the guidance prior to completing an application form. If submitting a bid, all questions on the form should be answered in full.

    All your personal information will be held and used in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). For details of how we gather, define, and use your information please see our privacy notice.

    If you are interested in preparing a bid, but unsure about any aspect, you are encouraged to contact the CIL team by email.

    Completed application forms should be submitted alongside all supporting evidence to the CIL team by email by the deadline of 1 July 2022.

    What is CIL?

    The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a charge on certain types of development in Maidstone. The money collected is then used to support new development of the borough (the Council implemented CIL in October 2018.)

    In accordance with the CIL Regulations 2010 (as amended), the expenditure of CIL funds is divided as follows:

    • 5% is retained by us to fund the administration associated with the operation of the CIL.
    • 15% is for ‘Neighbourhood CIL’ which is made available to parish councils (capped at £100 per Council Tax dwelling) where development has taken place, or 25% (uncapped) in areas with a ‘made’ Neighbourhood Plan.
    • 70-80% is for ‘Strategic CIL’ which will be allocated to strategic infrastructure projects by us, in accordance with the approved CIL Governance arrangements. This is the portion of CIL subject to allocation through this CIL bidding cycle.

    What can CIL be spent on?

    The CIL Regulations 2010 (as amended), state that we must spend Strategic CIL funds on ‘the provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of infrastructure necessary to support growth.’

    Strategic CIL is intended to focus on the provision of new infrastructure and should not be used to remedy pre-existing deficiencies in infrastructure provision unless those deficiencies will be made more severe by new development.

    What is infrastructure?

    The Planning Act 2008 prescribes that infrastructure includes: roads and other transport facilities, flood defences, schools and educational facilities, medical facilities, sporting and recreational facilities and open spaces. This definition accords with the MBC Infrastructure Funding Statement 2020/21 which we will spend Strategic CIL in accordance with. Bids failing to meet this definition will be assessed as invalid.

    Infrastructure Delivery Plan

    Our Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) contains all known infrastructure required to support the sustainable delivery of the adopted Local Plan. Each scheme within the IDP has potential funding sources identified for example from CIL, S106, government grants or match funding.

    Our Infrastructure Funding Statement 2020/21 outlines the range of infrastructure categories and infrastructure projects identified for CIL funding within our current Infrastructure Development Plan.

    We would welcome bids for strategic CIL funds from those schemes with ‘CIL’ listed as a potential source of funding to deliver our Local Plan. Prioritisation will be given to those schemes whose delivery is identified in the IDP as both ‘critical’ and ‘short term.’ The IDP is reviewed and updated annually.

    What is not eligible for Strategic CIL funding?

    The following will not be eligible:

    • Projects that do not meet the requirements of the CIL Regulation 59 2010 (as amended) i.e. for the provision, improvement, replacement, operation, or maintenance of infrastructure to support development of the borough
    • Projects that are not defined as ‘infrastructure’
    • Ongoing revenue costs for existing infrastructure
    • Repayment of money or interest borrowed for the purposes of funding infrastructure
    • Annual maintenance or repair for existing infrastructure
    • VAT that you can recover

    How much Strategic CIL money is available?

    Following the coming into effect of our CIL charging schedule on 1 October 2018, CIL began being collected in 2019. In order to accumulate a sufficient amount of money towards infrastructure, we have now approved the CIL governance arrangements to allow for an annual bidding cycle for the allocation of Strategic CIL receipts from 2019 to 2021 to enable the delivery of specific infrastructure projects that will support development in the borough.

    • We forecast that circa £12m of CIL will have been collected by 31 March 2025, and this will be combined with a £5m contribution from our own resources, to give a total of 17m of infrastructure funding potentially being available to bidders.
    • We intend to allocate its predicted CIL income for the period 2022-25 in this bidding round, but ultimate final allocations will be subject to actual annual CIL Income.
    • Some successful bids will have funds made available to them immediately, whilst others will receive provisional allocations, whereby we await the accrual of further CIL monies over the course of 22/23, 23/24 and 24/25. Therefore, this period of accumulation of funds may reduce the annual frequency of the bidding rounds.
    • It is important to note that whilst an estimate of future CIL income can be made for the forthcoming years, actual income is entirely dependent upon the rate at which any CIL liable development is delivered, and the monies paid.

    We cannot allocate more funds than are available therefore applicants are encouraged to consider the total monies available when developing a bid. Estimated Strategic CIL funds projected to be available over the next five-years are shown below.

    Estimated future CIL funds projected to be available over the next five years, based on our published five year housing land supply (Local Plan Monitoring)

    2019/20

    (Actual)

    2020/21

    (Actual)

    2021/22

    (Actual)

    2022/23

    (Projected)

    2023/24

    (Projected)

    2024/25

    (Projected)

    Strategic CIL collected/projected

    £454,924

    £973,866

    £1,181,815

    £3,801,422

    £3,229,402

    £2,459,981

    Additional funds (e.g. capital budget)

    £0

    £5,000,000

    £0

    £0

    £0

    £0

    Total funds available/projected for bidding per year

    £454,924

    £5,973,866

    £1,181,815

    £3,801,422

    £3,229,402

    £2,459,981

    Cumulative funds, year on year

    £454,924

    £6,428,790

    £7,610,605

    £11,412,027

    £14,641,429

    £17,101,410

    It is important to note that whilst an estimate of future CIL income can be made for the forthcoming years, actual income is entirely dependent upon the rate at which any CIL liable development is delivered, and the monies paid.

    Furthermore, the government is considering possible changes to the developer contributions system, and we are at the early stages of reviewing the adopted CIL Charging Schedule. Both factors could alter the amount of CIL income available to spend in future years.

    Bid process

    Who can apply?

    Any infrastructure delivery person, body or organisation may bid for Strategic CIL funds to help deliver eligible infrastructure projects in the borough.

    When can you apply?

    The following timetable will apply for the 2021/22 Strategic CIL bidding cycle:

    Dates

    Process

    3 May – 1 July 2022

    CIL bidding cycle opens and closes

    July – August 2022

    Officers validate and score the bids received against the Strategic CIL Bid scoring criteria

    September - October 2022

    Valid bids reviewed by the CIL steering group

    October 2022

    Decisions made by Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee

    What needs to be submitted?

    You will need to submit:

    Bids should be submitted by email to the CIL team by email.

    When will you know the result of your application?

    The final decision on which projects will receive Strategic CIL funds is made by the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee in October 2022. Applicants will be informed of this decision in writing, following the committee meeting.

    Bid Assessment

    Governance

    We have approved the CIL governance arrangements for the allocation of Strategic CIL receipts to enable the delivery of specific infrastructure projects that will support development in the borough.

    The assessment will include the use of scoring criteria for evaluating bids for infrastructure, called The ‘Strategic CIL Bid scoring criteria’.

    We advise applicants to carefully consider the scoring criteria and our IDP when preparing a bid, as we will use it to help determine how well the proposed infrastructure project delivers benefits to residents and businesses within Maidstone. We will only assess a bid using the information provided; any supporting evidence or additional information should accompany the submission of a bid.

    The scoring of valid bids will be presented to the CIL Steering Group, who will meet to discuss and consider the merits of each valid bid. In addition to the scoring, the CIL Steering Group will discuss, and consider, each bid against the available Strategic CIL, as well as the potential strategic impact of each project. Following this, the CIL Steering Group will make recommendations to the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure (SPI) Committee on the allocation of Strategic CIL funding.

    The SPI Committee will then consider the recommendations of the CIL Steering Group and have the final approval of successful bids.

    It should be noted that the CIL Bidding Process is competitive and not all applications will receive funding. It is also not necessary for the CIL Steering Group and SPI committee to allocate all CIL funds available in each bidding round. If schemes are not deemed high priority in accordance with the IDP highest priority projects, the CIL may not be allocated and could be reserved for the next CIL bidding cycle. There is no right of appeal against decisions on the allocation of Strategic CIL funding.

    What is the CIL Steering Group?

    The CIL Steering Group has been established by Maidstone Borough Council to make recommendations to the Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee on the allocation and expenditure of Strategic CIL. The CIL Steering Group membership is composed of Director of Regeneration and Place (Chair), Head of Planning, Head of Finance (delegate), Head of Legal (delegate), Principal Planning Officer (Strategic Planning), and CIL Team Leader.

    What makes a good Strategic CIL bid?

    You are advised to carefully consider the Strategic CIL Bid Scoring Criteria when preparing your bid. Other aspects to consider when compiling a bid include:

    • Ensuring the application form is fully complete, keep wording for the answers to a minimum and all relevant supporting evidence is included with the bid. We will only assess a bid using the information provided; any supporting evidence or additional information should be included within the submission.
    • Ensuring that your proposed project meets the definition of infrastructure, as defined by the Planning Act 2008. Bids failing to meet this requirement will be assessed as invalid.
    • If landowner consent is required to deliver the project, gaining, and evidencing this within the bid submission.
    • Ensuring that you include evidence of existing demand on infrastructure and how your project will address this existing demand.  Where the project intends to remedy pre-existing deficiencies, you must evidence how those deficiencies will be made more severe by new development.
    • Demonstrate how the scheme aligns with Maidstone’s corporate priorities and helps to deliver the corporate outcomes as set out in the Maidstone Strategic Plan 2019-2045. The stronger the alignment, the higher the prioritisation.
    • Make clear how much CIL funding is required for the project. Applications left blank or unknown will not be prioritised.
    • Make clear where the allocation of strategic CIL funds may unlock alternative funding sources.
    • Carefully considering the timing of your project. Projects identified in the IDP as ‘critical’ and to be delivered in the ‘short term’ will be prioritised. Within your application you must include a detailed timeline of the project. Applications that do not have a start date will not be prioritised. We understand that delays can occur, however, extended delays will call into question the deliverability of the project.
    • If your project is large, consider breaking it down into phases. Funding may be easier to secure in smaller more manageable parts. Large-scale projects will be more successful if there are strong communication links between all involved parties and where match funding is successfully utilised.
    • We would strongly advise that you provide a detailed cost estimate for the proposed infrastructure, provided by a suitably experienced Quantity Surveying and Project Management company, inclusive of any anticipated cost inflation and an appropriate contingency sum too.
    • Make clear the potential risks involved in your project and set out proposed mitigation measures to minimise the identified risks to delivery.
    • If your project needs planning permission or requires other approvals, where appropriate start progressing these before you apply for funding or build in securing these approvals into your project timeline.

    Can I submit more than one bid?

    Yes. There is no limit to the number of projects an organisation can submit.

    Bid outcomes

    Successful bids – CIL grant agreement

    If your bid for CIL funds is successful, you will be notified in writing. As the funder will require you to enter a CIL Strategic Spend Grant Agreement, subject to appropriate subsidy control advice being secured and submit a project plan before the CIL grant of funds is made available.

    This agreement sets out the terms and conditions on which the grant of funds is made by the Council to you, the recipient. These terms and conditions are intended to ensure that the grant is used for the purpose for which it is awarded; compels reporting of the funds by the recipient; and includes a clawback clause in the event the funds are not used in accordance with the agreement.

    Projects should not commence prior to the completion of the CIL Strategic Spend Grant Agreement and if they do any costs are incurred at your risk.

    Unsuccessful Bids

    The assessment process is competitive and not all applications will be funded. If your bid for CIL funds is not successful during this round, you will be notified in writing. A report presented to Strategic Planning and Infrastructure Committee, along with minutes of the meeting, will be publicly available showing the outcome of the assessment process. There is no right of appeal against the decision.

    Should you wish to be considered for the allocation of CIL funds in the future, you will need to reapply when the next bidding round opens.

    Monitoring

    We are required to prepare a report (Infrastructure Funding Statement) outlining how much CIL has been collected, how much CIL has been spent, and on what items, during the financial year. This report must be published by 31 December following the end of the financial year.

    Details of the progress, completion, evidence, and community benefit of successful projects would be required and should be sent to us upon request in accordance with the grant agreement.

    All your personal information will be held and used in accordance with the General Data Protection Regulations (GDPR). For details of how we gather, define, and use your information please see our privacy notice.

    Publicity

    If a bid successfully secures Strategic CIL funding, you will need to agree to publicise the support of Maidstone Borough Council. We reserve the right to use images of the project resulting from the award of the CIL funding as part of any publicity material.