COUNCIL bank accounts hold more than £21million in as yet unspent money from developers.
But all of Gloucestershire’s authorities are simply waiting for the green light to use their sizable allocations of section 106 money, paid to them as part of binding legal deals when medium and large planning applications are approved.
Gloucestershire County Council holds by far the majority of the cash - more than £18.1million, of which £14.4million is allocated to specific schemes.
Of the five councils whose section 106 figures were made available, three hold more than £1million waiting to be spent.
Tewkesbury Borough Council holds £1,197,663, Gloucester City Council has £319,956, Cheltenham Borough Council £308,555.97, Stroud District Council £1,018,673 and Gloucestershire County Council £18,183,211.48.
Where money is not yet allocated to a specific scheme, it is usually simply a question of waiting for a formal proposal from smaller authorities, like parish or town councils, for the cash to be used. At district or borough council level, the money is generally used to provide things like green open spaces and play parks at new developments, while the county council often insists on contributions to improve local highways, libraries and education facilities.
A Gloucester City Council spokesman said: “Section 106 agreements accompany some of the more significant developments in the city.
“They are related to planning applications and are designed to help make sure new developments enhance local communities, and to reduce the impact of developments on local areas.
“They help to create better quality environments in, and around, new developments, which can range from improving roads and building new community facilities, to creating open spaces and improving local schools.”
Mike Redman, Cheltenham Borough Council’s director, built environment, said: “The amount of investment and the projects funded are directly related to the specific type and scale of the development. On certain development sites contributions are used to fund public art projects within the local area or may contribute to a more significant scheme in a more prominent location. The majority of financial contributions through the planning system are towards highway and traffic improvements in the areas that are affected by developments.”