Homes developer pays up after court threat over bill for community facilities

Councilor Clive Arthey, Babergh District Councils cabinet member for planning

Councilor Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council cabinet member for planning - Credit: Greg Brown/Pixabay

Babergh District Council has secured more than £160,000 in an out-of-court payment from a property developer.

Marden Essex Ltd paid £163,590 of unpaid Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to the council shortly before the case was due to be heard in court. 

Developers are required to pay CIL when building new homes in Babergh, ensuring that local facilities are able to keep pace with housing growth and supporting the council's ambitions to keep its communities attractive, successful  and connected places.

However, after having received planning permission in 2018, the firm, under the name Marden Homes Ltd, built and sold 16 town and three bedroom houses in Bears Lane, Lavenham, without paying the CIL. 

The case was due to be heard on December 10, but the firm has since paid in full, citing the current economic climate for the delay. 

Councillor Clive Arthey, Babergh’s cabinet member for planning said: “We understand how difficult the current economic climate is for many firms and will always try to work with organisations to come up with mutually acceptable arrangements and payment plans before taking legal action.

"However, there comes a point when enough is enough, and developers must pay their contribution to the local community.

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“The CIL we distribute plays a major role in helping our towns and villages provide the necessary infrastructure in order to keep pace with housing growth – and Babergh District Council will not give up pursuing contributions owed by developers to our communities.

“CIL funds have already been committed to improvements at Lavenham’s existing car parks and toilets, and for a new car park in Water Street.

"Together with other projects, Lavenham Parish Council is working with Babergh to use CIL receipts for the provision of much-needed community facilities.

"It is incredibly difficult to plan and deliver these projects when developer contributions are not forthcoming.”

Lavenham Parish Council chairman Iain Lamont added: “The projects we have underway this financial year rely on Neighbourhood CIL payments.

"The potential default of Marden Homes making payment for the Bears Lane development could have forced us to cancel projects before completion and this would have caused this community significant problems."

Marden Essex was approached for comment.