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Homes cash pot promised to Bradford Council increases by £3m
The amount of cash promised by developers to fund local schools, parks and road schemes has risen by more than half in a year.
Bradford Council has secured £9.1 million from firms building major developments across the district in 2013/14.
This is up from £6 million the year before, a further sign that the housing market is on the up again in the district.
But so far, only seven per cent of the cash – £616,432 – has actually been handed over.
The money is promised through Section 106 agreements, which are made when a company is granted planning permission for a development which is likely to bring an influx of people to a neighbourhood.
The idea is that the money off-sets possible negative effects of schemes by funding school expansions, highways improvements or tree-planting schemes, for example.
A Council report reveals that 54 of these agreements were made in 2013/14, compared to 33 the year before.
Of the £9.1 million promised by developers, £5.4 million was earmarked for schools, £1.4 million for public transport, £1.3 million for parks and recreation, and the rest going to fund affordable housing, highways improvements, habitat protection, beck improvements and tree planting.
But the report also points out that local communities only get the money once building work passes certain points, which means they cannot be certain if or when it is coming.
It says that of the 54 developments where a Section 106 agreement was made, only 21 have started and only 11 have got to the point where money is due. So far, just £616,432 has been paid.
Councillor Val Slater, executive member for planning, welcomed the news that more money was being promised. She said: “It’s a sign that the development market generally is getting back into gear and it is welcome, but there is quite a difference between actually making the agreements and the money being collected and spent.
“There is often quite a time delay.”
The report also reveals that since January 2009, the Council has managed to collect a total of £8 million from developers through such agreements.
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