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MINISTER SEES DEAL SEALED ON£22M ROAD IMPROVEMENT SCHEME

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Lords housing minister Baroness Andrews has visited Luton and South Bedfordshire to view progress being made on del...
Lords housing minister Baroness Andrews has visited Luton and South Bedfordshire to view progress being made on delivering new infrastructure to support growth and regeneration in the county.

During her visit yesterday, Baroness Andrews witnessed the handover of the construction contract between Luton BC and the contractors - Birse Civils Ltd - to build the East Luton Corridor.

This£22m scheme jointly funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government and the Department for Transport will improve accessibility and decrease congestion to commercial and future residential sites to the south east of Luton. This is part of a total of over£40m of funding offered by the government through the Growth Areas Fund and the Community Infrastructure Fund to Luton and South Bedfordshire to support a range of infrastructure and regeneration projects which will help to underpin housing growth and the creation of new jobs.

Baroness Andrews also took part in a topping out ceremony at the Grove Theatre, in Dunstable, where she sealed a commemorative£2 coin into the building. The 750 seat venue will also include leisure facilities, recreational space improvements and new residential units as part of a town centre regeneration project part funded by the Department for Communities and Local Government.

Baroness Andrews said:

'We need to build more homes for the next generation, but it's not just about bricks and mortar. We must build these homes within the communities where people want to live and work. With cross-government funding we have been able to support greatly needed road improvements in the East Luton Corridor and a wonderful community facility at the Grove Theatre. I was delighted to be able to discuss the government's growth plans with local councillors and officials and to reiterate our commitment to providing the infrastructure needed to support growth and regenerate existing communities.'

Notes

1. The Community Infrastructure Fund (CIF) is a£200m fund jointly administered by the Department for Transport and Office of the Deputy Prime Minister. CIF funding will be made available to transport projects supporting housing growth in the four designated Growth Areas (Thames Gateway, London Stansted Cambridge Peterborough, Milton Keynes South Midlands, and Ashford).

2. This package of funding will benefit the four growth areas (Thames Gateway, Milton Keynes/South Midlands, London-Stansted-Peterborough Cambridge and Ashford) by helping to ensure that the right infrastructure and community facilities are in place in those areas that are contributing to the Government's commitment in the 2003 Sustainable Communities Plan to deliver an additional 200,000 homes above existing plans by 2016.

3. The Sustainable Communities Plan (SCP), published in February 2003, committed£164m for the Milton Keynes/South Midlands, Ashford, and London-Stansted-Cambridge- Peterborough growth areas over three years from 2003 to 2006. This Growth Area Funding (GAF) was for site assembly and remediation of brownfield land, delivery mechanisms, additional affordable housing and essential local infrastructure.

4. The research is available from the ODPM website ().The study was commissioned by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister in January

2005 and was carried out by the University of Sheffield and Halcrow Group.Planning obligations are agreements made under ss106 and 299 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as substituted by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991) and s278 of the Highways Act 1980 (as amended). A planning obligation is a legally binding contract between a developer and a local planning authority and operates alongside statutory planning permission. Thorough planning obligations, developers are required to carry out specified actions or make contributions when implementing planning permissions and are the result of negotiations on these matters between the two parties.

The research considered the number of applications attracting planning obligations as well as estimating the overall value of the contribution through planning obligations. It examined the value of contributions received by local authority type, planning obligations type and region. It also looked at the share of contributions made as direct financial payments and as in kind contributions, for example as affordable housing.The aim of the report was to estimate the number of applications attracting planning obligations and to estimate the overall value of the contribution made through planning obligation s to English local authorities in one year - 2003/04. It included a survey of all English local authorities and, for a more detailed view, case study work in 42 local authorities. In December 2005, ODPM announced the Planning-Gain Supplement to capture a proportion of the uplift in land-value when planning permission is granted. These funds will work in tandem with s106 to boost infrastructure. Further information can be found at:

http:www.odpm.gov.uk/index.asp?id=1163844

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