Developers will have to pay-up to help make developments acceptable if new policy is agreed by Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council

Fenland District Council - Credit: Archant

Developers wanting to build five or more homes will face a demand for a financial payment if a new policy is adopted by Fenland District Council.

The council’s Cabinet is set to discuss adoption of a Developer Contributions’ Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) next week, which will ensure developers pay-up to make their proposals more acceptable that proper infrastructure is provided.

It aims to support the council’s Local Plan to deliver the infrastructure needed to help Fenland grow. It will also make it clear to developers, planning officers, residents and others exactly when and what contributions will be asked for.

The SPD has been drawn up after it was decided the “economic climate” did not provide enough “head room” to allow the council to introduce a Community Infrastructure Levy at the moment - but that could change when the economy picks up.

Developer contributions will be asked for from any development where there is a need to mitigate adverse negative impact or to secure additional benefits needed as a result of the development, and/or to make the development acceptable in planning terms.

Small scale developments such as house extensions, agricultural development or something that is classed as a community facility would not normally require a financial payment.

But a report to next week’s Cabinet meeting states: “However, residential developments with a net increase of five or more dwellings or a site area of over 0.1hectare will be required to make a developer contribution for certain types of infrastructure or services, where there is an identified need.”

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It points out “these thresholds are a guide, and should not be read as an absolute cut off point - a decision will be made on a case-by-case basis.”

Other types of development such as retail may also require a S106 agreement, and this will apply to larger schemes with a greater impact.

Generally it will be assumed the developer will provide on-site infrastructure such as roads and lighting, but if they cannot do that then they will have to pay someone else to do it.

If the cabinet agrees then the new policy will go to full council for approval on Thursday (February 26), and it will come into force from this April.

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