We regularly get CIL self-build enquiries following our blog. Sadly, more often than not the request for advice comes after works have commenced (often without a commencement notice having been given) or a subsequent application has been made at the behest of local authorities (LPAs).
Here are some common risks with the self-build exemption:
1. A self-build exemption does not, at present, transfer to a related application (i.e. a s73 application or a new application for substantially the same development). This means that:
a. a new application for the self-build exemption needs to also be made for the subsequent application. If works have not commenced under the original application then this is a straight-forward repeat of the same process for the original application (if not see 2 below);
b. the self-build exemption must be obtained and a commencement notice submitted in connection with the new permission before starting any work on the site.
If the above steps are not complied with strictly, the right to claim the self-build exemption in connection with the revised/new permission is likely to be lost forever and full CIL will be payable in connection with it.
2. Where works have started but deviated from what was originally approved, a LPA will often request that the self-builder submit a new application (s73 or new application) to regularise the works. It is critical that a self-builder does not follow the LPA’s request blindly and submit a new application (s73 or new application) without seeking legal advice first because:
a. a new application (s73 or new application) means a new permission and chargeable development, which carries new CIL consequences;
b. a new application (s73 or new application) is different to an amendment under s96a which simply amends the existing permission by, for example, the substitution of new plans. An application under s96a is the only safe route for regularising the works on site without jeopardising the existing self-build exemption.
If the change is not material and is only required to regularise the position, then the LPA should not resist a s96a application, especially after the self-build position is explained to them. Even if the LPA will not accept the justification for a s96a application a self-builder should refuse to comply with their request until seeking legal advice to confirm it will not open them up to an unexpected CIL liability that could be in the tens of thousands.
Part 2 of this Series will consider some of the options that could be considered if the second scenario above arises and the LPA will not accept a s96a application.