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HUGE BILL: Bushey developer ordered to pay £1.6 million after breaching regulations

 Published on: 8th January 2021   |   By: News Bulletin   |   Category: Uncategorized

A developer has been ordered to pay an extra £500,000 towards local infrastructure in Bushey after the company breached regulations and failed to notify the local authority when it had started building work. 

An appeal submitted by Bushey-based Heronslea Ltd to the Planning Inspectorate contesting its Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) bill from Hertsmere Borough Council (HBC) was dismissed last week (Thursday 31 December), meaning the company must now pay just over £1.6 million in total to the local authority for infrastructure projects in the area.

By law, a developer who undertakes any new development that creates an additional floor space of 100m2 or more, is liable for CIL. The money is then used to help deliver infrastructure to support the development in the area. 

Regulations also state a developer must submit a Commencement Notice (CN) to its local authority no later than the day before work begins on a development, which is liable for CIL. In this case, no notice was submitted and HBC officers only noticed work had begun during a routine visit. 

In his report, the Planning Inspector found: “To me, the CIL Regs clearly articulate what must be done by the developer before commencing work on the chargeable development. 

“The requirements must be rigidly followed and satisfied in full otherwise a failure to comply has serious consequences and there is little, if any, room for discretion: hindsight has no role. 

“Commencing operations before submitting a valid CN and obtaining an acknowledgement receipt from the CA marked a significant turning point in the site’s history. 

“While failure to comply with CIL Regs 67 was either an unfortunate event or a highly risky strategy, it is, nevertheless, a flagrant breach of the regulations.”

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