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CIL charges and calculating CIL

How is CIL calculated?

The amount of CIL you will be liable to pay depends on the size, type and uses of your development.

The amount of CIL you pay is calculated using the gross internal area (GIA) of the floor space of all CIL liable buildings within the development. The floor space is then multiplied by the charge for that use type.  Where there are a number of use types proposed within a development, the floor space will be split accordingly by type and then multiplied by the relevant charges. Therefore, this information must be provided as part of your planning application. Failure to provide this information may lead to delays with the processing of your planning application. All plans will be measured and checked when you submit them.

CIL includes all floors of a building, not just the ground area. Therefore, if there are three floors of a building each measuring 50sqm, the total liable area will be 150sqm.

Index linking

The CIL calculations also include an index rate, in line with the All-in Tender Price Index of construction costs (provided by the BCIS). CIL rates are index linked to track building costs inflation, and reflect changes in the cost of delivering infrastructure. The index is calculated to track the change between the rate at the point CIL was introduced, and the rate at the point a planning permission is granted. The index may increase or decrease. Please contact the CIL Officer for the current index figure.

Calculating CIL

CIL is calculated as:

  • GIA floor space X use charge (residential or retail) X index rate = CIL charge

For example, if you were creating a new residential house, and the current index was 1.05, then the CIL charge would be:  

  • 150sqm x £70 (per sqm for residential) x 1.05 = £11,025.00

The breakdown of CIL will be detailed on your Liability Notice.

Deductions for existing use

The gross floorspace of any existing buildings on the site that are going to be demolished or reused may be deducted from the calculation of the CIL liability. However, these deductions only apply where the demolition or change of use relates to a building which has been in continuous lawful use for at least six months in the last three years, prior to the development being permitted. In such cases, you must provide evidence of lawful use.

What evidence of lawful use can be used?

If the existing / former use was a business, then evidence may include records from business rates, environmental health, licensing and bank statements. If it was a residential use, then evidence may include council tax records and utility bills. Evidence must show lawful use for the time period required.  

Additional information forms

You are required to provide the Council with full information about your development, including proposed and existing floor space, as well as plans for each. The Council will check all information supplied and provide you with a liability notice explaining our calculations.

What are the charges?

Rates are applied dependent on the planning use, and the location, of the development, with CIL rates based on financial viability. Types of development that are less viable will have a nil charge.

Cheshire West and Chester has five charging zones:

Development type


CIL rate £ per square metre

Residential (Use Class C3 dwelling houses, excluding stand-alone apartment blocks and excluding rural workers dwellings) – Chester and the rural area

Zone 1


Residential (Use Class C3) – Ellesmere Port, Northwich, Winsford and Blacon urban areas

Zone 2


Retail (Use Class A1 – convenience and comparison retail) – Cheshire Oaks area

Zone 3


Retail (Use Class A1 – comparison retail only) – Sealand Road, Chester area

Zone 4


Retail (Use Class A1 – convenience and comparison retail) – all other areas, including town and village centres

Zone 5


All other uses

Whole borough



CIL liability will be calculated after planning permission is granted.  We will issue you with a CIL Liability Notice, indicating CIL liability and the charge for the development. 

What is the difference between liable and chargeable?

A development may be liable for CIL, but not chargeable. This will occur where the development meets the conditions for CIL (liable), but a zero rate applies in the charging schedule and is therefore liable but not chargeable. A Liability Notice will still be issued, but will state a zero charge is due. 

What is the definition of Gross Internal Area (GIA)?

Gross Internal Area (GIA) is set out in the Code of Measuring Practice produced by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).  GIA is the full enclosed area of a building within the external walls.  It includes internal walls, service areas (WCs, showers, changing rooms), lift rooms, plant rooms etc. It excludes things like open balconies and open fire escapes.

For a definition of GIA visit the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors website below.

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