City of Wolverhampton Council has spent or committed £2 million of housing developers’ contributions from planning applications over the last five years.
The money has been secured through Section 106 (S106) legal agreements – a mechanism to fund works that are of public benefit and make development proposals acceptable, that would not otherwise have been.
Funding is allocated for a specific purpose, usually parks and open space enhancement or the provision of affordable housing as part of a planning application for a major residential development.
Before it commits S106 monies, the city council goes through public consultation, design work, tendering and appointing a contractor, and looks at the possibility of securing additional funds such as match funding.
For example, public consultation was carried out before the enhancement of the children’s playground in Castlecroft Avenue. It was paid for using a contribution received from the developer of the adjacent doctors’ surgery.
Councillor Peter Bilson, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for City Assets and Housing, said: “We work hard to ensure we get maximum value for our communities from developers’ contributions.
“This source of funding has been hugely beneficial in delivering improvements to parks and open spaces, play areas, sports provision, community facilities and highways safety.”
In the last financial year (2016/17) S106 contributions received by the council amounted to £500,000.
This includes £120,000 from the Peel Retail Park developers for the pedestrian crossing that has been installed across the Stafford Road.
In the current financial year (2017/18) around £109,000 has been secured from the developer of new housing on the Warstones Inn site, which is to be spent on Windsor Avenue Playing Fields, and £100,000 for the development of the Danesmore School site, which is to be spent on Ashmore Park.
Around £2 million of S106 funding – more than half of which was secured during the current financial year (2017/18) – is in the pipeline for future use.