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Where latest bids for Babergh District Council cash will go

PUBLISHED: 05:30 08 March 2019 | UPDATED: 07:28 08 March 2019

East Bergholt High School received CIL cash for its theatre seating. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

East Bergholt High School received CIL cash for its theatre seating. Picture: LUCY TAYLOR

Calls have been made for cash supplied by developers for the community to be used on large scale projects such as a bypass or rail improvements.

Lavenham Tourist Information Centre is to be turned into a community hub. Picture: DON BLACKLavenham Tourist Information Centre is to be turned into a community hub. Picture: DON BLACK

Developers are required to pay a charge, known as the community infrastructure levy (CIL), which pays for developments such as roads, schools, libraries and health services, when they are granted planning permission.

Babergh District Council’s cabinet approved five bids at its cabinet meeting on Thursday totalling more than £338,500 for improvements at schools, village halls and parking.

But now cabinet has been urged to consider whether more should be pumped into major infrastructure projects in the future, such as a bypass or rail junctions.

Councillor Frank Lawrenson, cabinet member for assets and investment, said that longer term, CIL money could help “investments required in our community that councils historically are very poor at saving.

“Those big schemes, be it a bypass, a rail scheme, there is never enough money in the pot.

“I do think that funds in this pot over time should be taken out and put into a wider infrastructure fund.

“It’s another opportunity for a council to set some funds aside for the really big things that make the difference not just for the small communities but the entire community.

“I think in the world we live in we are unlikely to see funding coming from central government unless we are able to fund our share of that.”

The latest bids approved included £100,000 being granted to Sudbury’s Kingfisher Leisure Centre for a refurbishment of gym equipment; £130,091 for Preston St Mary Village Hall’s extension – including toilet and kitchen facilities – and the makeover of Lavenham’s tourist information centre into a community hub.

A fund of £33,455.99 was also approved for electric charging point at the car park being the Cock Inn, Lavenham.

The cabinet debate also included a discussion around schools needing to outline the community benefits in their bids, with more school applications expected going forward.

An application by East Bergholt High School for £45,000 on tiered seating for the theatre space was also given the go-ahead.

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