£131,000 in Babergh community facility upgrades agreed

A Babergh Mid Suffolk bin lorry

Babergh District Council is switching its refuse trucks to HVO fuel - Credit: Babergh and Mid Suffolk district councils

A vegetable oil fuel tank and toilet facilities are among the projects to get funds from housing developer contributions in the latest bids at Babergh District Council.

The council's cabinet on Thursday night approved £131,000 for four projects in the district from Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds - financial contributions required from housing developers to fund key upgrades.

The cabinet agreed for £50,000 to install a hydrotreated vegetable oil (HVO) fuel tank at its Sudbury depot, following the decision to switch its vehicle fleet to HVO fuel as it is more environmentally friendly.

In Long Melford, £22,000 has been allocated towards a £57,000 project to resurface the Old School Community Centre car park, as well as create 10 new car park spaces, four disabled spaces, install three electric vehicle charging points, and upgrade drainage and lighting.

Elsewhere, £43,440 was granted for upgrades to the parish office and toilet block in Church Street, Lavenham, while £15,799 was allocated for community open space in Cockfield where meadow land and a disused railway are undergoing regeneration. That scheme aims to create new public open space and a sheltered picnic area.

Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council's cabinet member for planning, said: "This bid round demonstrates how CIL funding continues to support a wide range of community initiatives - benefitting Babergh residents not just now but for many years to come.

"I am confident that future generations will also reap the rewards of CIL enabling our council's fleet to switch to alternative fuels, offering a significant and immediate reduction to carbon emissions and furthering our ongoing ambition to address climate change.

"As ward member for Lavenham, I am especially pleased that the parish council has been successful in their bid to refurbish the public conveniences in Church Street, providing disability and Covid-compliant facilities along with a new parish office for the village."

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Mr Arthey said while CIL bids so far have centred around smaller-scale requests, larger applications are likely to come forward in the future, particularly on areas such as school extensions in growing communities.