These are facts regarding the S106 Agreement for the Moor Lane Taylor Wimpey Development checked and confirmed with NSC.
The S106 Agreement
This is a contractual agreement (as set out in Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act) between the developer/landowner and the Planning Authority.
The Planning Authority is North Somerset Council (NSC). They are duty bound to give the relevant Parish or Town Council (i.e. Backwell Parish Council) the opportunity to suggest items which should be included in the S106 Agreement, but, ultimately it is their decision what is included.
The Act sets out what items can potentially be included in the S106. These include community facilities and local infrastructure which will or might be affected/put under stress as a result of the proposed development, as well as a percentage of affordable housing. e.g. the additional number of residents created by the development requiring use of essential services, roads, schools etc.
The items form part of a negotiation with the developer (and, broadly, comes down to how much money the developer is willing to pay arising from the increased value of the land created by the grant of planning permission).
1) The S106 for Moor Lane cannot be changed as it has been agreed and it is the norm between NSC and the developer at the outline planning application stage (approx. 2 years ago). This is known as S106 Heads of Terms.
2) Each contribution under this S106 has to be justified individually as to what specific site needs it is to (specifically) mitigate and its (specific) impact. The S106 Agreements are not a mechanism by which existing/general problems can normally be resolved.
3) NSC and the developer have agreed that under the Heads of Terms:
- 82% of the total number of Affordable Housing units to comprise Social rented units and 18% of the total number of the Affordable Housing units to comprise Shared Ownership.
- Education Contribution would amount to £425,356 covering Early Years, Primary School, Youth and Special Needs.
- Highway Contribution (1) covering bus and travel £6,500.
- Rights of Way Contribution £1,180 for improvements to public footpaths around the development area.
- Library Contribution £8,175.
All of the above are agreed by the two parties and cannot be changed.
BPC were invited to suggest what the money would be actually allocated to and this is on-going.
Highway Contribution (2) Sum to be confirmed for yellow box at the entrance to Moor Lane and a footpath giving easy access from the site to West Leigh Infant School and shops. We have been invited to discuss this and other problems in Moor Lane that we feel need addressing.
Built Sport and Leisure Contribution £36,000. The total amount we have no input on but we did indicate that we did not wish for another play area on the site as there is one close by and the cost of running a play area is costly and BPC already own two on behalf of its residents. Hence why suggested money goes to Backwell Playing Fields Charity and the Moor Lane Play area. Back in June 2015 BPC suggested that the funding should go to widening of Moor Lane and a pavement, parking restrictions in Moor Lane and Long Thorn, access to the bus stop in Station Road to be addressed, funding for the Parish Hall for its expansion, as well as funding for Backwell Leisure Centre to upgrade changing facilities. Also funding to assist for disabled access to Nailsea and Backwell Railway Station.
The £15,000 towards our Parish Hall which seems to upset some people is easy to explain. You, the residents, own the Parish Hall and the money raised from hire only covers general upkeep. Some 2/3 years ago the volunteer managers and trustees including the Parish Council embarked on a total upgrade of the Hall. The Hall is over 100 years old and it was obvious it will not last another 100 years without large financial support. So new chairs, a sound system, new floor, roof insulation, lighting, fire doors, toilets and much more with only the committee room, roof and roof timbers, kitchen and reception area to complete. NSC S106 Team indicated that only the kitchen upgrade would comply with S106 rules to increase and encourage more residents to use the hall. For confirmation I checked with NSC S106 Team and they said it is not a case of either/or nor that the kitchen money has taken the place of road safety measures. If a pedestrian crossing had been assessed as being needed as a result of the site, then it would have been required regardless of any other contribution that were being applied. It was also noted by NSC S106 Team that BPC did raise road safety as a concern, so it is not that it was overlooked.
Should any resident wish to discuss this statement or need any further explanation then please ‘phone the Parish Office and a Parish Councillor will contact you shortly thereafter.
Cllr Bob Taylor