Over £38m in ‘developer contributions’ spent to support Herts Council services in past financial year
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MORE than £38m of ‘developer contributions’ have been spent to support county council services in the past financial year, according to a report.
A developer can be required to make a financial contribution – also known as a ‘section 106’ agreement – to mitigate the impact of a particular development on an area.
And it means funds – or a non-financial contribution – can be sought by a county council to address the impact of a development on educational provision, or adult care services, libraries, transport or even the fire and rescue service.
On Monday (September 11), members of the county council’s sustainable economic growth cabinet panel reviewed the amount of developer contributions that had been collected and spent in Hertfordshire in 2022/23.
It was reported to the panel that during the 12-month period the county council had entered into 37 new section 106 agreements – equivalent to contributions of £25.3million.
Meanwhile £19.9m had been collected by the county council in 2022/23, from earlier agreements. And in the same period £38.7million had been spent.
The vast majority of the £38.7m funds spent last year, according to the data, were allocated to educational projects.
It included £26.4m for new schools and £2.16m on school expansions.
Meanwhile the report to the panel also highlighted improvements to a number of libraries – including those in Welwyn Garden City (£382k); Hitchin (£133k); Hertford (£73k); Radlett (£23k) and Buntingford (£326k).
At the end of the 2022/23 financial year, it was reported that the council held £79.1million of developer’s contributions – with £8.9m already allocated to be spent in future years.
Looking forward, it was reported to the panel that a large proportion of the funding received this year would be used for new schools and school expansions, in order to accommodate the population growth from the new developments.
Other contributions had been earmarked for transport, youth and library projects.
According to the report the county council has a ‘strong record of securing developer contributions to mitigate the effect of new development’.
However, it also acknowledges that developer contributions do not always cover the total cost of new infrastructure.
And therefore, it says, the county council also needs to seek further funding from central government.