September 2017 – Council Update

Community Infrastructure Levy

On Monday 11th September the Council received its final report from the Planning Inspector on our CIL Policy. At the time of writing I have not seen a copy of that report but I will receive a copy shortly and will share further details on its content when possible.

The next steps are for the Council to adopt the policy, which we anticipate doing at the October meeting of the full Council. Once adopted the Council will be in a position to formally implement the policy.

 

Transport Strategy

Earlier this year the Council produced and consulted on a Draft Transport Strategy, in conjunction with Warwickshire County Council.

The County Council are responsible for bringing together all for the consultation responses, which range from short paragraphs to full 20+ page documents.

We are told that the consultation response was the largest ever seen by the County and as a result there has been a delay in bringing together the final report. I continue to put pressure on the County officers to enable us to confirm and adopt the Strategy, subject to any changes required after the consultation.

 

Housing and Infrastructure Fund

In July this year the Government announced a new Housing and Infrastructure Fund that will provide a total of £1.2bn of funding to Councils to help fast track infrastructure projects that would unlock housing schemes.

There are two forms of application, one called Forward Funding that is only available to County Councils to a value of £250m. The second called Marginal Funding which is available to District Councils up to a value of £10m.

SDC have a list of projects it is seeking to put forward for marginal funding, including bids for the Gateway Project, the Canal Quarter and the Long Marston Garden Village. These are being drawn up and will be given priority based on the value they would bring to the district and their chances of success.

We have also requested that a Forward Funding bid be put forward by Warwickshire County Council, to assist with the delivery of the LMA site and the infrastructure that surrounds it, including the SWRR. That view has been accepted by the County Council along with three other bids they have a desire to bring to fruition. Again, priority will be given to the bid that provides the best value to the County and has the highest chance of success.

The deadline for bids is the 28th September and I will be in a positon to give more information once we know which bids have been successfully submitted.

 

Affordable Homes Working Group

In 2015 a task group was established by the Council to consider ways in which it could help in the delivery of affordable homes across the District. That working group was then superseded by a Cabinet Working Group in January this year to continue the work and bring forward a delivery plan.

Consideration has been given to a number of different options including direct delivery of housing, community delivery, partnership working, joint ventures and establishing a wholly owned local housing company (LHC).

At Cabinet on Monday 11th September, approval was given for the Working Group to progress with a business plan for a wholly owned LHC. That business plan is be subject to further approval by the Cabinet before further actions can be taken, but this is considered to be a very positive step by Stratford DC.