Developers could be made to pay a new charge for every square foot of built-on space to help cover infrastructure costs under new plans by Cornwall Council.

The council is asking residents, businesses and developers for their views on introducing a Community Infrastructure Lev, which could be used to fund projects such as new or safer road schemes, flood defences, new schools and health facilities, and improvements to parks and green spaces in local areas.

The scheme was introduced by the government in 2010 to allow local councils to levy a charge on new building projects to help meet demands created by the development, and the cash generated will be used to part replace funding collected through current section 106 agreements.

The charge will apply to all new developments, charged as a fixed tariff per square metre of new floor space, meaning it will affect not just large companies but smaller operators too. The level of the rate would be set by the council in consultation with local communities and developers, and tested through an independent examination to ensure it will raise the level of funding needed to deliver the infrastructure without affecting the viability of the development.

The council has said it will still be retaining the section 106 agreements - which require developers to take certain steps to mitigate impact or provide new infrastructure, or provide funds for council contractors to do the work - but they will be in addition to the CIL. It will also be taking account of possible section 106 payments when calculating the CIL.

And large developments which are listed in the council's Development Plan Document (DPD) will have a special zero charge for the CIL, so the council can write in section 106 agreements requiring specific work to be completed, something which cannot be done with CIL money.

Edwina Hannaford, the council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “New development needs to be supported by physical, social and green infrastructure.

“Almost all development has some impact on the need for infrastructure, services and amenities, or benefits from them, so it is only fair that such development pays a fair share of the costs.

“It is also fair that those who benefit financially when planning permission is given, should share some of that gain with the community which granted it. By paying a contribution developers will help fund the infrastructure needed to support development and make development acceptable and sustainable.”

The council has drawn up a preliminary draft charging schedule and is now seeking views from residents, businesses and developers on the proposed rates it sets out.

Feedback from the consultation will be used to develop the charging schedule ahead of further consultation before it is submitted for independent examination towards the end of 2017.

If recommended for approval, the draft charging schedule will be considered by the full council for adoption, and once adopted the charges will be applied to any new applicable developments.

Formal consultation begins on Tuesday, January 3, and is taking place until Tuesday, February 14, and people can visit their local library and one stop shop for information on the plans or paper copies of the survey, or go online at