Development contributions

To deliver sustainable development we need to make sure new housing is supported by adequate infrastructure and that some of those new homes are affordable.  To achieve this, we have polices to ensure new development contributes by providing land, buildings or finances to deliver new infrastructure and affordable housing.

The Elmbridge Development Contributions Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) and Community Infrastructure Charging Schedule set out the contributions required from new development towards infrastructure, affordable housing and Thames Basin Heaths mitigation through the use of both planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Development contributions SPD (April 2021)

CIL charging schedule

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)

CIL is a charge on some forms of new development, raising funds towards infrastructure that is needed to support new development. We started collecting CIL in April 2013.

In Elmbridge, the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is payable on residential and retail development that includes any new build of 100 square metres (sqm) or more of gross internal floorspace, or any development that involves creating an additional dwelling, even when below that size threshold.

CIL charges

The CIL charge was set in 2013 at:

  •  £125 per sqm for residential dwellings (C3)
  • £50 per sqm for retail development (A1-A5)

The CIL charge is liable to indexation which is calculated using the national All-in Tender Price Index published by the Build Cost Information Service (BCIS):

Current rate of indexation: Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors

With indexation, the current charge for 2023 is £198.10 per sqm for residential dwellings and £79.24 per sqm for retail development.

CIL is calculated per sqm of development on gross internal area (GIA). GIA is the area of a building measured to the perimeter walls at each floor level. The guidance note sets out what falls under this definition:
Gross Internal Area definitions (GIA)

Exemption from CIL

Some types of development are exempt from paying CIL but an applicant is still required to apply for an exemption.

Exemptions include:

  • self-build housing and for residential annexes and extensions
  • charitable developments
  • social housing

The government’s most recent CIL guidance provides further information on specific requirements relating to exemptions and the procedures you must follow. 

Permitted development and CIL

Since April 2013, permitted development (development which does not require planning permission) may be of a sufficient scale to be liable to CIL.

In this case, it is the responsibility of the developer to serve a Notice of Chargeable Development to us before development starts. The CIL charge will then be calculated and applied just as though planning permission had been issued.

We may also advise if CIL is payable when dealing with 'do I need planning permission?' requests and as part of the planning compliance process.

Calculate contributions

You can calculate the contributions payable using our calculation tool. Email to request a copy. 

How to apply for CIL

Visit CIL process for a planning application for information on how to apply for CIL.

Affordable housing  

All councils are required to ensure at least some housing is considered affordable.

Core Strategy Policy CS21: Affordable Housing sets out our target for the number of affordable homes we aim to deliver by 2026 and the proportion of affordable housing, or the financial contribution to support their delivery that we expect to be provided where there is an increase in housing.

Where applicants consider that the charge is disproportionate, we request that the relevant information setting out the scheme's viability is submitted for independent assessment as set out in our Development Contributions SPD.

Since its iteration in February 2019, the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has incorporated the provision set out in the Written Ministerial Statement (WMS, 2014) in relation to affordable housing contributions. This introduced a conflict with our approach to affordable housing provision set out in Policy CS21. Our Statement on affordable housing provision on small sites (updated October 2021) outlines our position on the NPPF and how we intend to take forward decisions where there is a conflict between local and national policy.

To support the continued implementation of Policy CS21 on a case by case basis, we commissioned consultants (Dixon Searle Partnership (DSP)) to undertake a Viability Report with Appendix to review the approach to seeking affordable housing contributions on sites of fewer than 10 units. We intend to undertake regular reviews on our approach and further updates will be published here. 


Elmbridge has some of the highest land values and property prices in the country. This makes it extraordinarily difficult for residents to find reasonably priced homes either to buy or to rent. However, it also means that nearly all development for new homes in the borough can make full affordable housing and CIL contributions. 

We, as a council, are committed to doing everything in our power to address the housing crisis and to maintain the transparency and accountability of our decisions. As such we publish all financial viability appraisals submitted as part of planning applications received on or after Monday 19 March 2018 alongside other planning documents on our website.

First Homes

The government's First Homes policy came into effect 28 June 2021. 

First Homes must account for at least 25% of affordable housing units secured through section 106 obligations, whether on-site, through cash in-lieu or as a combination of the two. First Homes must take priority over the other affordable housing products.

The maximum price First Homes can be sold for is £250,000. A discount of 30% from the market price remains with the property on subsequent sales so that future eligible buyers can benefit from the scheme.

First Homes should be provided as part of all relevant applications that are determined after 28 December 2021. This deadline was extended to 28 March 2022 for sites where there has already been significant pre application discussions in terms of the affordable housing quantity or tenure mix.

To assist applicants, our Development Advice Note 6: First Homes offers further details.   

Thames Basin Heaths

Within Elmbridge, Chatley Heath and part of the Ockham and Wisley Commons Site of Special Scientific Interest (SSSI) has been identified as an internationally important habitat for three rare species of ground nesting birds. This habitat is known as the Thames Basin Heath Special Protection Area (SPA).

Core Strategy Policy CS13: Thames Basin Heath’s SPA sets out a local framework to ensure that the SPA is protected from the implications of additional residential development and mitigation is secured. 

If you are submitting a planning application for Cobham, Weybridge or Hersham please review the Development Contributions SPD to understand whether there are requirements relating to the Thames Basin Heath.

Is my property within the SPA zone?

A legal agreement is required for provision of both affordable housing and SAMM and a unilateral undertaking template is available. Email to request a copy of the template. 

Services by A-Z