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More than £20million from developers in Gloucestershire council's bank accounts waiting to be spent

By The Citizen  |  Posted: January 03, 2014

More than £20million from developers in Gloucestershire council's bank accounts waiting to be spent

Developments like Cooper's Edge bring section 106 money

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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.”

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4 comments

  • jas37  |  January 03 2014, 9:35PM

    Should have read - "Tewkesbury BC and Stroud DC"

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  • jas37  |  January 03 2014, 9:32PM

    Perhaps Tewkesbury TBC and Stroud SD are planning to hand over their section 106 money to Gloucester City Council as the majority of their Housing seems to be built in Gloucester.

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  • Kay_Powell  |  January 03 2014, 9:29PM

    If it can be spent on green open spaces, perhaps we could have a multi-use games area at St. James' Park in Tredworth, which would be used by hundreds or thousands of young people, rather than a riding arena, which will be used by a small minority of kids.

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  • JemmyWood  |  January 03 2014, 5:00PM

    So if there is all this money sitting not being used, maybe someone can explain to me why the roads around Quedgekey and Hardwicke, an area that has seen the biggest expansion of houses in Gloucester, are in such a shocking state? Also the same in Hempsted by the new estates where the SW bypass is crumbling before our eyes.

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