Developers building homes in Wakefield forced to stump up more cash to cover Section 106 costs

Developers building homes in Wakefield are to be charged more money under new rules introduced by the council.

Tuesday, 9th March 2021, 4:45 pm

Builders have to pay money to local authorities under what's known as a Section 106 agreement, to help fund infrastructure and public services around new homes they create.

Now, developers will have to cough up an extra £300 on top of each installment they pay, to cover the costs of monitoring and enforcing the Section 106 charges themselves.

The London-based Home Builders Federation (HBF), which represents developers, claimed the levy will cut the amount that can be spent on improving communities.

The City Fields development on the eastern side of Wakefield is one of the biggest new sprawling estates in the district.

But Wakefield Council said that the £300 charge was fair and that pursuing firms for the cash costs the taxpayer money.

Bronwen Knight, the council's service director for planning said: "Local authorities can seek a reasonable contribution for their costs for monitoring and reporting of Section 106 planning obligations.

“A fee of £300 per trigger has been set based upon a justifiable amount of time that is reasonably required to monitor each trigger."

Developers claimed the charge will mean less money going into communities.

Local authorities are able to take firms to court if the money is still not paid.

But criticising the £300 charge, HBF's planning director Andrew Whitaker said: "Local authorities legally have the right to levy a charge to reflect the actual cost of the monitoring.

"However, there is only a specific amount of money available and so any charges will reduce the funding for improvements to infrastructure and amenities in the local area."

Local Democracy Reporting Service