Concerns raised about whether developers' money will cover infrastructure improvements - The Leamington Observer

Concerns raised about whether developers' money will cover infrastructure improvements

Leamington Editorial 26th Apr, 2018   0

CONCERNS have been raised about whether developers’ money will be sufficient to cover infrastructure improvements in the district.

Warwick District Council recently introduced a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) which is paid by firms building smaller developments to pay towards the added strain additional residents would put on local services.

The money helps pay for the likes of new roads, improvements to recycling facilities, the building of new schools and expansion of existing schools, new medical centres and to help emergency services cope with the additional pressure.

In Warwick district alone these improvements are set to cost nearly £300million up to 2029, with some £55million of the total coming from CIL funding.

The rest of the money will come from other sources including funding from larger developments and government grants. Developers on ‘substantial’ sites such as Lighthorne Heath – which is set to get some 3,000 homes – pay more funding through so-called section 106 agreements.

But Warwickshire County Council has expressed concern the district council was not going to make enough money through its CIL funding to complete all of the infrastructure needed.

At a recent cabinet meeting a county council spokeswoman said: “It is noted with concern that Warwick District Council has suggested that resources from CIL may not be sufficient to match requirements.”

But Warwick District Council says its Infrastructure Delivery Plan has looked at the costings in-depth and there was nothing to be worried about.

A spokeswoman told the Observer: “We will be using CIL alongside other sources of funding such as section 106 contributions, grants and land sales.

“We have a comprehensive plan which set all the infrastructure improvements required through to 2029, along with costs. The plan also shows how we anticipate each of these projects will be funded and specifically focuses on those projects that are required in the first five years. The CIL is important in this, but it is only part of the council’s approach.”

* COUNCIL chiefs are looking to keep Leamington in business while a major car park is out of action.

Concern has been raised at the impact on town centre businesses for up to 18 months after Covent Garden car park was demolished to make way for Warwick District Council’s new headquarters, and before a new larger multi-storey car park was built.

Council chiefs recently considered plans to keep shoppers heading for Leamington during the work.

Coun Ian Davison said a ‘displacement plan’ would look at the broader picture.

He added: “The council and local businesses need to think innovatively to make it more attractive to walk, cycle, use buses and car share.”


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