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Councils look to ‘safeguard’ community funding paid by housing developers

PUBLISHED: 16:30 12 November 2020

Independent councillor Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council deputy leader and cabinet member for planning. PIcture: GREGG BROWN

Independent councillor Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council deputy leader and cabinet member for planning. PIcture: GREGG BROWN

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The fee paid by development companies to help improve community infrastructure is set to be revised in a bid to “safeguard” future payments in parts of Suffolk.

Councillor David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for planning. PIcture: MSDCCouncillor David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council cabinet member for planning. PIcture: MSDC

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils heard proposals to revise the amount paid through Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) at meetings on Tuesday and Wednesday.

CIL is collected from developers when they build new homes in the districts and helps the councils to meet infrastructure demand from development to provide “ bright and healthy futures” for local communities.

Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils implemented the charging of CIL in the districts in April 2016, with the agreement that these rates would remain in place for a minimum of three years.

As this period has now lapsed, and in order to safeguard future infrastructure against rising costs, the councils have taken the decision to review their CIL charging rates.

They are now seeking views on the new charges for developers which they say will help to provide communities with the facilities they need to keep pace with growth.

Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “This funding demonstrates how development builds not just houses, but communities with bright and healthy futures.

“We want Babergh to be a place that everyone is proud to call home, but we can only provide the facilities needed to help us achieve this aim if CIL contributions are appropriate to meet the cost.

“We welcome any feedback from residents, who I hope will give their time to help shape our district’s future.”

David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council’s cabinet member for planning, said: “CIL monies are a long-term beneficial funding source and make a real difference to the lives of Mid Suffolk residents.

“However, to enable us to secure the infrastructure required for our communities to thrive both now and in years to come, these rates do need to be revised.

“I would urge our communities to have their say before the consultation closes.”

Both councils will now undertake a six-week public consultation and ask residents, businesses, and voluntary organisations are invited to have their say on the revised rates.

Consultation starts today, November 12.

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These responses will then be considered by the councils, before being submitted to a Planning Inspector for public examination, prior to the implementation of proposed CIL charging rates in both districts.

Over £5.5 million in CIL payments have been awarded in the districts since the start of the year.

Included in these successful bids was over £3.5 million towards school and nursery expansions in both districts, enabling a new sixth form centre for Stowupland High School and contributing towards the expansion of Bramford and Claydon Primary Schools.

Funding was also awarded to help regenerate St Peter’s Church in Sudbury into a cultural hub for activities, provide much-needed play areas, and fund a feasibility study for Thurston Railway Station improvements.


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