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Agenda item

Prioritisation of Community Infrastructure Levy Spending

   Report of the Chief Executive

 

Minutes:

Councillor Nick Botterill, Cabinet Member for Development Management, Strategic Planning and Climate Change presented the report on prioritisation of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) spending. CIL was a charge paid by landowners based on the floor area of developments to contribute toward infrastructure needs. Cabinet agreed a process for prioritising CIL spending in 2017, and this needed to be updated to take account of spending priorities and minor legislative changes. Councillor Botterill stated prioritisation needed to be agile to support the Business Plan and other strategies, and the proposals would achieve that.

 

The largest priority allocation would be Abbeyfield School, Chippenham, with £6.43m for its phase 1 expansion, £1.35m to mitigate the impact of recreational pressures on bat habitats, up to £0.220m for measures to mitigate the impact of development on the Salisbury Plain Protection Area, and up to £0.750m for mitigation to reduce and manage impact arising from development on the New Forest Special Protection Area.

 

The Leader and other Cabinet Members welcomed the report and noted the importance of CIL funding to deal with the strain of new developments.

 

Councillor Ian Thorn noted the importance to communities of any CIL spending and asked whether there could be annual reporting to council on prioritisations decided by Cabinet. The Leader stated annual reporting may not be necessary or appropriate, but would consider how best to report on the committing of funding. Councillor Botterill also noted that an infrastructure funding statement was required to be published to ensure transparency over intended funding. There was also discussion of the possibility of parish and Wiltshire Council CIL being able to be combined.

 

Councillor Gavin Grant sought detail on figures listed in the report, with financial implications listed to 31 March 2021. It was stated that the Infrastructure Statement up to that period should be updated in December 2021. Councillor Grant also requested that the relevant parish council be listed in relation to S106 funds as well as CIL and asked further around working with in particular larger towns on their CIL contributions. It was noted that these could be discussed, but there could be strategic issues, with lots of demand on CIL which would not meet all issues.

 

Councillor Trevor Carbin raised an issue in Holt where there had been an error in initially calculating whether the parish should receive a large amount of CIL funding. Councillor Botterill stated he would be happy to talk to the local council around the issue.

 

Councillor Ruth Hopkinson sought detail on how projects were placed on the list for prioritisation, for example how Abbeyfield rather than other local schools had been identified as highest priorities, with a response to be provided by officers.

 

Councillor Stewart Palmen requested that local Members be kept up to date on matters relating to their Divisions, and Councillor Gordon Kind raised matters relating to Westbury rail links.

 

At the conclusion of discussion, and noting that any decision would need to be taken individually by the Leader under delegated executive authority due to the nature of the meeting, the Cabinet was asked for its view and it was,

 

Resolved:

 

That the Leader of the Council should:

1) Approve revisions to the process for prioritising spending of strategic funds raised through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) as set out in Appendix 1.

 

2) Following approval of (i), to approve the updating of the infrastructure List to remove the Timber Street and A420 Marshfield Road/Dallas Road Safety Schemes and ensure the inclusion of the projects in (iii).

3) Following approval of (ii), to approve the allocation of:
 
a) Circa £6.43m CIL funding for Phase 1 expansion of Abbeyfield School.
b) Up to £1.35m CIL funding for measures to mitigate the impact of recreational pressures on bat habitats associated with the Bath and Bradford on Avon Special Area of Conservation in line with the Trowbridge Bat Mitigation Strategy.
c) Up to £220,000 CIL funding for measures (visitor surveys and ongoing monitoring) to mitigate the impact of development (recreational pressure) on the Salisbury Plain Special Protection Area.
d) Up to £750,000 CIL funding for mitigation to reduce and manage recreational impact arising from development on the New Forest Special Protection Area.
 
4) Delegate authority to the Corporate Director for Place in consultation with the ‘Corporate Director for Resources and Deputy Chief Executive’, ‘Cabinet Member for Development Management, Strategic Planning and Climate Change’ and ‘Cabinet Member  for Finance, Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation’ to oversee the funding allocated in (iii) and to approve any variances.
 
5) Agree that further work be undertaken by the Corporate Director for Place in consultation with the ‘Corporate Director for Resources and Deputy Chief Executive’, ‘Cabinet Member for Development Management, Strategic Planning and Climate Change’ and ‘Cabinet Member for Finance, Procurement, Commissioning, IT, Digital and Commercialisation’ to consider how the strategic fund can be used, in accordance with the CIL legislation, to align delivery of projects with the Council’s budget setting process and the Council’s new Business Plan.

 

Reasons for Proposals

 

To assist with the effective operation of CIL and ensure open and transparent
decision making in the allocation of strategic funds; as well as ensuring that
strategic funds are committed to securing mitigation measures for
internationally important wildlife sites and support plan-led growth

Supporting documents:

 

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