Tuesday, 6 August 2013

How Is Croydon Spending Its Planning Monies?

You may be wondering what the Council spends the money that developers have to give it when they obtain planning approvals. The answer to a Freedom of Information request I submitted in July gives some information which helps to understand the system and track what these monies are and what they are being spent on.  Section 106 payments are being replaced by the Community Infrastructure Levy.

Section 106

Between July 2012 and February 2013 Croydon Council  approved Section 106 Agreements on 42 planning applications totalling £1,258,925.29. The numbers in brackets represent the number of S106 agreements involved where more than 1.

·         Ward Breakdown

Addiscombe: Little Rd Childrens playground £80,000 (2); East Croydon Link Bridge  £204,606.16 (4); Public art £22,500.

Ashburton: Addiscombe Recreation Ground playground £59,690; public realm project £30,400.98.

Broad Green: Wandle Park £27,000; Kingsley Primary £274,954 (3).

Broad Green/Waddon/Fairfield: £51,528.69.

Fairfield Ward: Park Hill improvements £125,405 (3); Robert Fitzroy Academy £57,000; College Green Paving Project £808,103,986.58 (5) and Old Town Masterplan £50,000.

Kenley: Woodcote special education needs resource base £6,404.

New Addington: Wolsey Infants £4,715.

Purley: Woodcote special education needs resource base £8,394.

Shirley: Monks Orchard Primary School £5,480.

South Norwood/Woodside: Norwood Junction Station access £44,100 (3).

Waddon: transport development £10,912.29; Purley Oaks Primary School £14,044.80.

West Thornton: Mayfield Rd Playground £5,956.79 (2); Bensham Manor School 7,500 (2).

Borough wide: Apprenticeship Accord £6,400.

·         Category

Education: 13. £390,099.89 (13)
Highways works: £81,929.58 (2)
Open Space: £344,388.79 (11)
Public Arts: £22,500
Public Realm Improvements: £153,986.58 (5)
Sustainable Transport: £269,419.45 (8)
Training: £6,400

The details including the addresses of the planning approval schemes can be accessed on the Croydon Observatory site:

Community Infrastructure Levy

The Community Infrastructure Levy is replacing Section 106 for new approvals. The money will be split between the Mayor of London for Crossrail spending and Croydon Council for provision, improvement, replacement, operation or maintenance of: education facilities; health care facilities; projects in the Connected Croydon Delivery Programme; public open space; public sports and leisure; and community facilities (as defined by the Croydon Local Plan: Strategic Policies). Further detail can be seen at:

Use of CIL To Buy Houses

Part of my Freedom of Information request was the following question: is the Council legally able to re-negotiate the agreed allocations with developers in order to increase the amount of money available to it to purchase housing on the open market and bring empty properties back into use, even though this may reduce allocations into more general pots like transport and street improvements?

The reply states: ‘Section 106A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 enables the Council to re-negotiate S.106 agreements. There are no restrictions on the scope of negotiations beyond that set out by the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. A full guide to s.106 in Croydon can be found on the Council’s S.106 webpage (http://www.croydon.gov.uk/contents/departments/planningandregeneration/pdf/cil/s106guide.pdf.’

I also also asked: ‘Given the potential Community Infrastructure Levy monies that might be due to the Council under future agreed developments, will the Council agree to increasing the allocation priority to help fund the housing strategy of purchasing homes and bringing empty properties back into use?’

The reply states: ‘The Community Infrastructure Levy cannot be used to fund affordable housing as it is not considered infrastructure as set out in s.216 of the Planning Act 2008 (as amended). Information on what the Community Infrastructure Levy will be spent on is set out in the Council’s Regulation 123 statement which can be found in the Council’s guide to the Community Infrastructure Levy available online from the Council’s CIL webpage (http://www.croydon.gov.uk/contents/departments/planningandregeneration/pdf/cil/cilcroydon.pdf).’

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