Fenland councillor says Chatteris could lose £40k for no education contributions in Roddons scheme

PUBLISHED: 09:26 15 September 2010

Cllr Jan French.

Cllr Jan French.

Archant

A DECISION to not claim education contributions as part of plans for 67 new homes could have cost Chatteris more than £40,000, according to a Fenland councillor.

Plan of Roddons 67 dwellings in chatteris on the Kingsfield School site which has been turned down

Councillor Jan French’s words come after a decision was deferred by Fenland District Council’s planning committee on whether Roddons Housing Association can build 67 homes on the former Kingsfield Primary School playing field.

Members of the committee were stunned at their last meeting by a Cambridgeshire County Council report which said that Cromwell Community College would have spare capacity for students in the next five years. As a result, it would not be seeking money for education from Section 106 contributions as part of the scheme.

Cllr French this week said she was “appalled” that the county council had not asked for contributions and claims the decision was based on statistics from 2006, which show the school could handle more students.

She added that, according to her calculations, the 67 homes would have meant a contribution of more than £40,000.

“I think it’s appalling,” said Cllr French. “I think somebody needs to answer some questions as to why out-of-date figures were used.

“If we didn’t seek this Section 106 money for education it would come out of the taxpayers purse and I don’t think we should carry the burden for the developers.”

Councillor Florence Newell, who is also a Cromwell governor, added: “Chatteris is growing by the moment and I think the (county) council need to wake up a little bit. They need to get some proper figures because education needs the money.”

Councillor Martin Curtis, the county council’s Cabinet member for children, said that current statistics meant Section 106 contributions could not be sought.

He said: “My understanding is that we couldn’t ask for Section 106 contributions as the school still has space and there are no forecasts to say that it would be over capacity in the next five years.”

Cllr Curtis said that only two year groups at Cromwell School in Chatteris were currently over capacity.

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