Development with community benefits

Communities across Bath and North East Somerset have benefitted from millions of pounds in funding from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Section 106 agreements over the past year.

That’s according to the council which is now publishing an Infrastructure Funding Statement to set out how the money has been spent including expanding schools, flood defences, improving leisure facilities and supporting efforts to tackle the climate and ecological emergency.

Strong housing delivery over recent years has brought in substantial income enabling the council to invest in infrastructure projects across the district of benefit to a range of communities. During 2019/20 the council received £4.5m from CIL, the charge placed on developers to support community improvement schemes such as schools, transport links, open spaces and recreational facilities. 

An additional £1.6m was also received from Section 106 agreements which are made as part of the planning process and designed to reduce the impact of a scheme on the community.

Councillor Tim Ball, cabinet member for Housing Planning and Economic Development, said: “We were one of the first local planning authorities to introduce CIL in 2015 and over the years local communities right across Bath and North East Somerset have benefitted from millions of pounds of investment in hundreds of projects.

“This year was no exception and we’ve delivered dozens of projects, including

improvements to the Bathwick towpath and Keynsham’s High Street, to the expansion of St Nicholas Primary School, Radstock and a feasibility study into the Temple Cloud Farrington Gurney Air Quality Management Area.

All these projects are carefully planned to not only support new development but also to improve the lives of residents in the area.”

CIL funded projects during 2019/20 included:

£370k – Ralph Allen Secondary School expansion                              

£350k – Peasedown St John School expansion

£150k – Keynsham High Street Project               

£250k – Keynsham Leisure Centre refurbishment        

£100k – City centre security, Bath

Section 106 funded projects during 2019/20 included:

£208k – Pedestrian highway improvements

£308k – Bus services

£1.8m – Keynsham East new primary school

£250k – Midsomer Norton Town Park Phase 2

£47k   – Westhill Recreation Ground Outdoor Gym and Exercise Track

£91k   – Somer Valley Enterprise Zone Business Development

£21k   – Youth connect Services

A portion of CIL funding is also distributed to town and parish councils.  Last year they received a total of £390k and Bath received £307k

To coincide with the publication of its funding statement the council has also published its Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan for 2020. The plan is an evidence-based assessment of the future needs and demands for infrastructure to support new development identified in the council’s Core Strategy and Placemaking Plan.

The Plan, which informs CIL spending priorities in the coming years, has recently been updated to take into account the council’s decision to declare a climate and ecological emergency and its pledge to provide leadership to enable Bath and North East Somerset to become carbon neutral by 2030.

To find out more about how the council allocates CIL funding visit:

https://beta.bathnes.gov.uk/community-infrastructure-levy-cil-and-council-spending

You can read the council’s Infrastructure Funding Statement here

The council’s Draft Infrastructure Delivery Plan for 2020 can viewed here