Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
CABINET: 1ST OCTOBER, 2012
REFERENCE FROM SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 4TH SEPTEMBER, 2012
“ ANNUAL REPORT – SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS 2011 – 2012 (REF) –
The purpose of the report was to inform Members of the progress on Section 106 matters that had arisen in the last financial year April 2011 to March 2012 and had been referred to the Committee for consideration by Cabinet. Members were informed that the report had also been considered at the Community Liaison Committee meeting held on 31st July 2012.
The section 106 officer advised that in the 12 months between April 2011 and March 2012 a total of 18 planning permissions had been issued which had been subject to Section 106 Legal Agreements. A list was attached at Appendix A to the report. Section B provided details of the Council’s Section 106 account which currently held £1,524,498.90. Members were informed that financial contributions secured through the Legal Agreements would be used to provide or enhance the facilities off sites such as sustainable transport facilities, public open space, community facilities and more. When contributions were received consultation was then undertaken with the relevant service areas, the Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Innovation, Planning and Transportation, relevant Cabinet Members and local Ward Members to agree how the contributions can be best spent in accordance with an established Section 106 protocol. On receipt of the financial obligations the relevant service area would be notified with options for spend considered before consultation was undertaken in accordance with the Council’s protocol.
Committee was also reminded about the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 2010 which, once in place, would replace Section 106 Agreements in many respects, in particular in respect of financial contributions. CIL would then become the main mechanism for providing infrastructure in connection with new developments. Work had commenced on the Levy, which would take several years to prepare.
During discussion Members referred to the lack of spend in a number of project areas and that progress in respect of these matters should be made as a matter of urgency. The Director advised that pressure for spending was difficult for many reasons, in particular that contributions from some individual schemes were small and that the money did not go very far when used on its own. Pooling contributions would be a way forward, although this could lead to delays. Ensuring schemes from other service areas are developed was also time consuming given the need to deal with often conflicting priorities. As a result developing and progressing Section 106 projects would take considerable commitment.
Members however, took the opportunity to congratulate officers on the income to date and noted the Members’ concerns in relation to the lack of expenditure. With regard to a number of requests from Members regarding projects within their areas, they were reminded that consultation was undertaken at the planning application stage and that all Town and Community Councils should be advised that any comments they wished to make should be made at that stage in order that the views of the Town and Community Councils could be reported to the Council. Members, in accepting the comments of the officers, advised that it would be beneficial if an awareness session could be arranged for Town and Community Council representatives and members of the Councils on the delays and the process for Section 106.
Councillor Clarke sought clarification as to the monies that had been received for the Rhoose development which had been spent within St. Athan. The Principal Officer advised that this had been agreed due to the fact that although the money had been allocated for affordable housing, the developers could not attract the relevant numbers and thus the original application could not be delivered. Councillor King referred to an issue at Llandough where the Community Council had been advised of a promise of money via section 106 funding for a play area. Due to the fact the development had not commenced and the section 106 agreement had now lapsed the Director agreed to refer the request to the Operational Manager for Parks to consider when the Council’s budget was being set in November.
Having considered the report, it was subsequently
RECOMMENDED – T H A T Cabinet be requested to ensure that the Directors come forward with proposals as soon as possible in order to reduce the exceptionally large Section 106 Agreements’ outstanding balance waiting for appropriate schemes.
Reason for recommendation
In order that the schemes approved can be established from the monies received under the Section 106 Agreements.”