MORE than £500,000 has been handed to Chichester District Council from developers in the last financial year to be spent in the community.
A total of £534,931 was received as part of special legal agreements from April 1, 2012, to March 31, 2013, with a further £461,876 agreed in the same year.
The figures were revealed in an annual section 106 monitoring annual report, set to be considered by the council’s corporate governance and audit committee today.
Section 106 agreements are contributions towards infrastructure and amenities in the district, both financial and non-financial, made by developers given planning permission.
In 2012/13, the council received £184,019.93 towards affordable housing, bringing the total balance of section 106 for housing to £1,081,216.
Of this, £105,000 has been allocated to fund an in-house letting service, leaving £976,216 unassigned.
“In recent years the council’s registered provider partners have been very successful in attracting grants from the Homes and Communities Agency,” said the report, prepared by design and implementation manager Lone Le Vay.
“Sums received in lieu of affordable housing have therefore accumulated. However, the current situation is now very different.
“Grants are no longer available on s106 sites and have been much reduced even on social housing developments.
“Consequently, these funds will be vital to facilitate future housing developments to meet our affordable housing targets and assist people in housing needs.”
The other areas where the council received funding were: development of public open spaces, community facilities, recycling, CCTV, public art and the protection of Chichester Harbour’s special protection area.
The biggest total contribution – £137,660 – came from developers of Downview and Ridge House, Petworth, with £137,177 for affordable housing and £21,483 for community facilities.
The other contributions were: Birdham Road, Donnington, £47,841.93; Graylingwell Hospital, £9,499.45; Roussillon Barracks, £80,449.32; 34 and 36 Hay Road, Chichester, £79,147.08; Marshalls site, Hambrook, £108,239.08; Exchange House, Petworth, £6,694.49; and West Sussex Fire Depot, Tangmere, £45,400.
Of the 15 new agreements reached in the last year – worth £461,876 – eight involved financial contributions to the district council, six contained only non-financial obligations to the district council and one contained contributions to West Sussex County Council only.
The largest area of investment was for community facilities, with developers pledging to spend £228,752.
The biggest single agreement was from the developers of The Heritage site, in Winden Avenue, Chichester, where construction is due to start on 92 homes, including 56 affordable homes.
Developers agreed to contribute a total of £103,707 including £29,619 for leisure, £8,800 for public open space, £56,988 or community facilities and £8,300 for public art.
Year-by-year comparisons of section 106 agreements show the highest-value agreements came in the period from 2008/9 to 2010/11 with a total of £3,841,510.
“The trend since 2009/10 has been downwards which is attributable to the economic climate,” said the report.
“There was a peak in 2009/10 due to the Graylingwell development.”
Contributions towards highways, education, libraries and the fire service are dealt with by West Sussex County Council.
In 2012/13, £360,989.50 was spent on projects including £197,677 on the expansion of Parklands Primary School, with associated highways work; £88,309.50 on improvement and refurbishment to Chichester High School for Boys; and £75,003 to provide an additional temporary hut at Bosham.
The county council is also expecting to allocate funding for a new school at Graylingwell.
In addition, there are a number of highways projects, which are allocated by the county local committees, set to go ahead in the current financial year.
They include £120,000 for the 20’s Plenty scheme, £60,000 for bus stop improvements in Chichester city centre and £30,000 for a cycle link from Winterbourne Road to Graylingwell.
All section 106 library funding has been allocated for a two-to-three-year project to install self-service terminals. So far, Chichester, Southbourne, Selsey, Petworth and the Witterings have all had terminals installed.
Fire service contributions will be divided between five major projects, including an extension to Bognor Regis station.