Swindon press headline: "Housing developers to help fund social projects" - that's how Section 106 should work
It's a news story for the Swindon press: "Housing developers to help fund social projects" - putting Section 106 payments into the headlines. What is more this development will include affordable homes.
There was disbelief, condemnation and anger in Marlborough at the waiving altogether of the agreed £334,625:51 Section 106 charge towards affordable housing in the town to be paid by the developers of retirement apartments on the former garage site at the foot of Granham Hill.
The developers - McCarthy and Stone - escaped through a gap created by the government to speed up house building. In the rush to try and hit their promised house building target, they once again forgot the needs for parallel improvements in infrastructure.
Wiltshire Council accepted McCarthy and Stone's figures showing that cleaning up the site had been more expensive than expected - making the development unviable. But Section 106 charges can be negotiated properly - as this recent example from Swindon shows.
Broad Blunsdon Heights is a development of 57 homes - including seventeen affordable homes and community allotments - by Newland Homes in one of the expanding villages just north of Swindon. The development is within walking distance of the centre of Blunsdon village.
Nine of the seventeen affordable homes will be part-buy-part-rent and the other eight will be for rent only. These homes are being managed by Aster Housing.
The parish lies either side of the A419 and is just one of the sites targeted for Swindon's northern and eastward growth. The company announced: "As part of our Section 106 development requirements, the funds are being passed to the local authority to deliver a range of services to benefit the wider community."
Newland Homes' Section 106 payment will provide over £364,000 to benefit the local community through schools, public amenities, public health contributions and public realm contributions.
Over £43,000 will be provided to support local schools' primary and secondary special educational needs, as well as learning for those aged 16 to 18 years. Over £179,000 will go towards public landscaping, open space and improvements to Ermin Street.
£75,000 will support Wiltshire Fire and Rescue, public library provision, public art, public games areas and other community requirements. £48,000 has been earmarked as contributions towards the extra needs for health and social services. The remaining money will be spent enabling these changes and improvements to happen.
Gail Remnant, associate sales director for Newland Homes, said: “Whilst Section 106 agreements are a standard part of planning agreements, we have worked closely with the relevant authorities to channel the contributions into areas that will bring the most benefits to all residents of Blunsdon."
The development will have a mix of three, four and five bedroom homes. Prices currently start at £375,000 for a four bedroom home. Three bedroom properties will be available later in 2017.