Thursday 10th October 2024
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Complex new planning rules for developers in Cornwall

Photo: Sarah Jane Williams, senior associate in the planning team at Stephens Scown.

A Cornish law firm has been flooded with enquiries from developers since the introduction of a new levy in Cornwall.

Stephens Scown LLP, which has a nationally recognised planning team that specialises in complex planning issues, has been helping developers navigate the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) legislation.

The CIL regulations are designed to ensure that developers pay additional costs to improve infrastructure surrounding their development, which can cover building new roads or schools.

The regulations are complex and as a number of recent appeals show, falling foul of the CIL Regulations can lead to hefty fines that may impact the viability of developments.

Property developers have been caught out by commencement work triggering CIL charges, or by altering their plans only to then face CIL liabilities in excess of £500,000.

Sarah-Jane Williams, Senior Associate in Stephens Scown’s planning team, has been increasing client awareness of the implications of CIL upon development:

“When we are dealing with other planning matters, we have also been offering CIL advice. In the run-up to CIL’s introduction in Cornwall we introduced a comprehensive CIL review service. More and more clients are taking up the review service to ensure they are getting the most out of any reliefs and credits that are available to them.”

CIL regulations came into force in Cornwall on 1st January 2019, but solicitors from Stephens Scown’s planning team have been advising clients in other areas about the legislation since it was introduced in 2010 and where other Local Authorities have been charging CIL for years.

Property developers can be significantly disrupted by CIL regulations as they have the potential to cause negative implications where the regulations are not accurately followed and, in extreme cases, can cause projects to become unviable. To learn more about CIL and request a review of a development, please contact Stephens Scown at

Stephens Scown has over 300 staff, including more than 50 partners, across its offices in Exeter, Truro and St Austell. It is the highest ranking law firm from the South West in the Sunday Times 100 Best Companies to Work For 2018. For more information visit