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Agenda Item No.

 

THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL

 

CABINET: 15TH DECEMBER, 2014

 

REFERENCE FROM COMMUNITY LIAISON COMMITTEE: 19TH NOVEMBER, 2014

 

 

            ANNUAL REPORT - SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS 2013 - 2014 (REF) -

 

Cabinet had been informed on 3rd November, 2014 of the progress on Section 106 Planning Obligation matters that had arisen in the financial year April 2013 to March 2014.  The report advised that Council had the power to enter into Legal Agreements with developers under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 to seek contributions from developers to mitigate negative development impacts and facilitate development which might otherwise not occur.  The report highlighted that in the past 12 months between April 2013 and March 2014 a total of 22 planning permissions had been issued, that were subject to Section 106 Legal Agreements, which were outlined at Appendix A to the report.

 

The value of the financial contributions in the Legal Agreements totally £5,431,630.24 and six of the agreements related to major schemes for residential developments at Ferm Goch, Rhoose, St. Athan, Culverhouse Cross, Ystradowen and Llandough.  Areas of spend between April 2013 and March 2014 were also attached to the report at Appendix B. 

 

The Principal Planner in presenting the report stated that a number of the schemes had been delivered in the financial year by the Council with enhancements to walking and cycling, provision of public art, open space enhancements and childrens play areas.

 

Whilst considering the report a number of Town and Community Councillors raised the issue of consultation with Town and Community Councillors for Section 106 provision.  The Principal Planning Officer advised that current protocol did not extend to consulting directly with Town and Community Councils but that Ward Members from the Vale would be undertaking this role. 

 

A further question was raised with regard to the formula used to assess Section 106 obligations with the question being was consideration given as  to how much a developer sells the houses for.  The Planning Officer advised that the cost of the houses was not dependent on the obligation.  The Council would provide the developer with a list of planning obligation requirements based on its Planning Policies for the use of Section 106 monies as negotiations take place.  Members were advised that for example, if a local school had a number of places available for children then the Council could not ask for money to assist in the provision of school places.  However, if there was limited capacity then consideration could be given to negotiate with the developer financial assistance for provision..  Should a developer be unable to address all the items on the list because of viability constraints then discussions would ensue as to what could be realistically expected.  It was also important to note that negotiation and discussion can take some time and the officer cited the Barry Waterfront development as an example where considerable negotiations took place due to the viability constraints on the site and the vast planning obligation requirements. 

 

In referring to the Community Infrastructure Levy fee, the Principal Planner advised that this levy would be set in the first instance on the basis of what a development in the Vale can afford but it would not necessarily be specific to the site where development takes place.  However, the Council was not in a position at the moment to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy as it needed to have a Local Development Plan in place in order to establish a CIL. 

 

A local Member referred to there being no bus services in his area and although the Green Links Service was a good service it did not provide as much support for his area as was required.  In response, the Planning Officer advised that in referring particularly to the area of Ferm Goch near Llangan, the Ward Member would be consulted on any proposals for sustainable transport and on the development. In particular it may be possible for some any section 106 monies to be used to support the Green Links bus to assist the community there.

 

A number of Members queried why Town and Community Councils were not specifically consulted with regard to section 106 monies with the officer advising that specific consultation would greatly add to the process and officer time with the consequence of significantly affecting timescales for schemes.  Currently Town and Community Councils are consulted on all planning applications and they have every opportunity at that stage to comment on their priorities for Section 106 funding.  Once the money is received only local Ward Members are consulted and Town and Community Councils should discuss their views with them.  If Town and Community Councillors had any issues they were advised to discuss them directly with their Elected Ward Member. A further suggestion was made that officers should also identify Section 106 schemes early for Members on the weekly planning lists but again this was referred to as an onerous and cumbersome process and in the main   Committee was informed that the current system generally worked well and that there was evidence that Community Councils regularly commented on Section 106 developments.  However, having fully discussed the report it was subsequently

 

RECOMMENDED -

 

(1)       T H A T Cabinet be requested to consider the feasibility of including consultation with Town and Community Councils in the Section 106 process and report back to the Committee.

 

(2)       That the report, referred to in 1 above, also includes details of the differences between Section 106 and the proposed Community Infrastructure Levy.

 

(3)       T H A T the progress made on Section 106 matters between April 2013 and March 2014 be noted.

 

Reasons for recommendations

 

(1)       In order that Cabinet can consider the feasibility of the request.

 

(2)       To apprise Members of the differences between Section 106 and a CIL.

 

(3)       Members having been apprised of the position.

 

 

 

 

Attached as Appendix – Section 106 Protocol for Implementation (2012)