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Is my development liable for CIL?

A development is liable for CIL if it:

  • creates a new C3 residential dwelling house or annex of any size in the areas of Cheshire West specified as Zone 1 on our map or
  • extensions of 100sqm or more of gross internal floor space (new build), after making deductions for existing floor space that is to be demolished as specified on our map; and
  • A1 retail space at Sealand Road, Chester or Cheshire Oaks, Ellesmere Port.

The gross internal floor space of any existing buildings, including those that are going to be demolished, can be deducted from the total CIL liability if the building(s) have been in lawful use for at least six months out of the last three years before planning permission was granted. It will be for you to demonstrate lawful use by providing appropriate evidence.

  • More information regarding deduction of existing floor space can be found on our CIL charges page. 

Not all development types are liable for CIL, for a list of the liable developments please see the table below.

CIL applies to development permitted through a planning application, or an appeal. CIL can also apply to certain developments granted under Permitted Development rights and in these cases you must submit a Notice of Chargeable Development which can be found on the Planning Portal. Failure to do so means that we can impose penalty surcharges, up to £2,500.

The table below sets out our charging schedule by area and type of development.

Development type


CIL rate £ per square metre (for planning permissions granted on or after 5 April 2019 up to 31 December 2019

CIL rate £ per square metre (for planning permissions granted on or after 1 January 2020)

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, excluding apartments) – 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



Are any types of development exempt from CIL?

Some developments are exempt from CIL. These include:

  • conversion of one dwelling to two or more dwellings
  • creation of less than 100sqm of gross internal floor space (providing it doesn't create a new dwelling)
  • creation of an additional floor space within an existing building in lawful use (e.g. mezzanine floor)
  • development of buildings and structures people don't normally enter (eg substations)
  • a building for which planning permission was granted for a limited period.

Is there any relief or exemption from CIL?

Yes. In some cases, relief or exemption from CIL can be granted. More information can be found on our relief and exemption page. 

Relief and exemptions can be sought in certain circumstances, but it is not automatic. Instead, relief and exemptions must be applied for, and this must be done before development commences, using the relevant application forms. To apply for relief and exemptions you must also have assumed liability. There are a number of other conditions which also apply dependent on the type of relief or exemption. Relief and exemptions can be obtained for:

  • Social Housing relief
  • charitable developments
  • self build - whole houses
  • self build - residential extensions / annexes

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