Community facilities given £549,000 boost from housebuilder contributions

Plans to have mandatory unpaid leave for Suffolk County Council staff has been axed. Picture: ARCHAN

Plans to have mandatory unpaid leave for Suffolk County Council staff has been axed. Picture: ARCHANT - Credit: ARCHANT

Mid Suffolk and Babergh District Councils passed more than half a million pounds in developer contributions in 2018 to local infrastructure projects.

The cash was passed on by Mid Suffolk and Babergh district councils to help neigbourhoods cope with extra population growth as a result of housebuilding.

The £549,674 figure, published on the councils’ new Developers Contributions Database - the first public database of its type in the country - follows more than £297,000 paid in 2017 and more than £377,000 in 2016.

Over the last three years the total paid out for community infrastructure is £1.2m across the two districts. The cash funds a variety of projects, from sports facilities to public transport.

It was collected by developers who have brought forward both residential and commercial planning projects in Babergh and Mid Suffolk.

It was collected under the Community Infrastructure Levy - a set charge levied by the square metre of development - or by Section 106 agreements which are used to offset the impact of more development.

Councillor Glen Horn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “Our planning committees have made some difficult decisions over recent years to provide the homes we sorely need in Mid Suffolk and with each new planning permission granted we are determined to see the developer contribute to the community.

“Now we’re seeing the results of this - new community facilities, old infrastructure repaired or replaced, bringing old facilities into the 21st century.

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“These funds are helping communities and residents right across Mid Suffolk.”

Projects that have received funding in 2018 include the improvement of outdoor football pitches in Bramford and Blakenham, renovations to village halls and more than £59,000 for new play equipment at Gandings Road in East Bergholt.

Councillor Nick Ridley, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “Where new development puts pressure on existing infrastructure, it is right we ask developers to contribute to addressing that.

“These figures show how successful the council has been in collecting funds from developers on behalf of the community: the infrastructure this money pays for will be vital to making Babergh a place people continue to want to live and work for years to come.”

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