Daventry District Council has urged people planning to build a new home or extend a property to heed new laws to avoid potentially hefty charges.
The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning fee which sees developers charged on the amount of floor space their plans create, with the money generated used to fund improvements to local infrastructure.
Failure to pay the charges could result in developers owing tens of thousands of pounds, and in some cases unable to pay the full fine in instalments.
Self-build developers can claim exemption from CIL for new homes, annexes and extensions. However, some people in Daventry District have fallen foul of the strict national legislation governing these exemptions, landing themselves with large bills that could have been avoided had they followed the correct procedures.
Since the council adopted CIL in September 2015, there have been six cases of self-build developers having to pay levies of between £9,000 and £38,000 because they did not submit the proper paperwork in time. The total sum of the CIL liabilities was £156,235.
Commercial developers can also fall foul of the legislation, with one company losing the right to pay in instalments and having to pay the full CIL charge of £118,839 immediately. Failure to follow the legislation can also result in surcharges of up to £2,500.
Councillor Alan Chantler, strategic planning portfolio holder on Daventry District Council, said: “The council has attempted to be as flexible as possible in all of these cases, but the legislation is strict and we have a duty to enforce it.
“The message is clear: CIL must be complied with and the correct forms need to be completed and submitted at the right time. I would urge self-builders and commercial developers alike to liaise with the council’s development control team ahead of and throughout their build, to ensure they do not fall foul of the legislation.
“We do not want anyone to lose the benefit of these exemptions just because they haven’t completed a form at the right time.”