Failure to assume liability (via the correct notice) for CIL prior to the commencement of the development can lead to a surcharge of the lower of 20% of the chargeable amount or £2000. The ability to pay any CIL liability in instalments may also be lost (which could be significant for cash flow).
In this case the description of development included 'demolition'.
There was a pre-commencement planning condition that required a contamination survey.
The developer argued that it was necessary to demolish the existing buildings in order conduct the pre-commencement contamination survey.
It was found that the demolition works were part of the chargeable development and so the surcharge was correctly imposed.
This seems harsh as the works were required to satisfy the pre-commencement condition, but the finding is in line with the very strict interpretations of the rules from other decisions.
Make sure that the Assumption of Liability form is submitted at least a day before any works on site and always send it by Special Delivery or signed for courier.