Agenda Item No.
THE VALE OF GLAMORGAN COUNCIL
SCRUTINY COMMITTEE (ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT): 15TH JANUARY, 2013
REFERENCE FROM CABINET: 5TH NOVEMBER, 2012
"C1891 SECTION 106 LEGAL AGREEMENTS - PROTOCOL FOR IMPLEMENTATION OF SPEND (RIPT) (SCRUTINY - ECONOMY AND ENVIRONMENT) -
The purpose of the report was to outline the issues that surrounded the implementation of section 106 financial receipts and to seek Cabinet endorsement of the updated protocol for implementation of section 106 obligations. Details of the section 106 account, including plans for implementation, were attached at appendix A.
Each year an annual monitoring report had been prepared for Cabinet that summarised the Council’s progress on negotiating, monitoring and implementing planning obligations through section 106 agreements.
At its meeting of 1st October, 2012 Cabinet considered the monitoring report for 2011/12 and resolved "That a further report is presented at a future Cabinet Business meeting outlining a protocol on how the Council can release Section 106 monies" for the reason "in order that schemes approved can be established from the monies received under the Section 106 Agreements".
In 2008, the Council introduced a protocol for Member Involvement in the implementation of section 106 spend. The protocol, attached as appendix B to the report set out that when financial obligations were received, the relevant service area would be notified and options for spend would be considered and proposed with consultation undertaken with Ward and Cabinet Members and a scheme for implementation agreed.
The report outlined that there were a number of issues that frustrated the successful and speedy implementation of section 106 financial receipts.
Firstly, the ad-hoc timing of financial receipts because they were triggered by market dependant factors such as the commencement of development or beneficial occupation of that development. This made it difficult to plan ahead without potentially wasting staff resources. This issue was primarily out of the Council's control.
Secondly, there were a few issues that prevented service areas progressing schemes towards implementation, namely: a lack of 'on the shelf' schemes ready to implement. The small sums of money sometimes involved made it difficult to implement a meaningful scheme without pooling resources alongside other sums of money; resources to undertake projects above and beyond the normal work programme; and, prioritisation of other workloads that were time-constrained or more urgent.
In addition, there had been delays in the past following member consultation and disagreements on how contributions should be spent in particular areas.
Due to the issues outlined it was intended to utilise the Council's Project Management Unit to drive forward implementation of section 106 receipts, especially for major development sites such as Penarth Heights and Barry Waterfront where the number and value of the contributions were significant.
The Director of Development Services was currently considering options to allow the effective monitoring of section 106 implementation. This role had typically been undertaken by the Principal Planner (Planning Obligations) who, out of necessity, was now devoting more time to work on the introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy for the Vale of Glamorgan.
To utilise some of the smaller sums of money, it was envisaged that the Council would continue to seek to match-fund section 106 monies with other grants such as Creative Rural Communities and Barry Regeneration Area funding.
To try to avoid delays arising from separate stages of consultation, it was proposed to amend the protocol to notify the relevant ward and Cabinet members when s106 monies were received so that they could put forward suggestions of schemes for implementation at the same time that service areas were considering options for spend. It was hoped that this would stream line the process, and also allow for all options to be considered at the same time. The protocol at Appendix B to the report reflected this change.
In addition, the capital schemes funded by S106 obligations would be included in the Council's Capital Monitoring data, so that spends would be tracked. Likewise, it was envisaged that performance against Section 106 implementation would be subject to regular updates to the Council's Corporate Management Team.
Finally, where appropriate, officers would seek on-site provision of facilities as part of developments to remove the administrative burden from the Council and leave the responsibility of implementation with the developer. This would be particularly relevant to matters such as public art and open space facilities, which can more practically be provided on site.
This was a matter for Executive decision.
(1) T H A T the content of the report and the issues raised herein be noted, and proposals for improvement be endorsed.
(2) T H A T the updated protocol for implementation of section 106 obligations be endorsed.
(3) T H A T the report be referred to the Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) for consideration.
Reasons for decisions
(1) To enable further progress to be made on the issues surrounding section 106 implementation.
(2) To ensure the effective future implementation of section 106 obligations.
(3) To seek the views of Scrutiny Committee (Economy and Environment) on the content of the report."
Attached as Appendix - Report to Cabinet: 5th November, 2012