New format proposed to secure community cash

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Talks are taking place over plans to replace a complex system of securing community funding from developers.

Babergh District Council is seeking public feedback on a proposal which would replace section 106 agreements – where councils negotiate a cash sum with companies to offset the impact of large developments – with a set Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Following an initial consultation over the summer, council bosses are now looking for views on the level of charges proposed, and on lists showing which infrastructure would benefit from any funds collected.

“We are now well on the path to putting together our final proposals,” said Simon Barrett, lead member for growth and the local economy at Babergh.

“Once we’ve consulted with the public over the coming weeks, we’ll be in a strong position to put our final proposals to an independent examiner and work towards getting CIL implemented to ensure better funding for infrastructure in the district.”

John Whitehead, portfolio holder for planning at Mid Suffolk District Council, which shares some services and working practises with Babergh, added: “CIL would provide us with a new way to collect developer contributions.

“A fixed charging schedule creates certainty and greater transparency than the current section 106 agreements.

“It will allow us to be clearer and more open about how much we can spend to support infrastructure developments at all levels.”

The proposals will go before both councils once endorsed by the independent examiner.

More information and links to the online consultation form can be found at www.babergh.gov.uk/home/cil-consultation.