Communities across Babergh have received a funding boost totalling more than £200,000, to be used for local projects including a much-needed car park in Lavenham.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is collected from developers when they build new properties in Babergh, with the aim of ensuring local infrastructure keeps pace with housing growth.
With CIL funding of £190,000 now approved, work can commence on revitalising a plot of land on Water Street, Lavenham, which was used for gas works between 1872 to 1937.
The site will now benefit from a twenty-four space car park, which will include two charging points for electric vehicles - a positive step forward in protecting the local environment from the effects of climate change. There is also scope for further charging points to be added to meet the developing needs of the community.
These technological advances will not be at the cost of local heritage, as plans are in place to display information panels at the site sharing the historical importance of the former gas works. The site’s gas holder, which is a scheduled ancient monument, will also be renovated - providing another visitor attraction for the area.
Following overwhelming support from the local community, works will be carried out by Lavenham Parish Council, who will also contribute £48,000 of their local parish council Neighbourhood CIL fund towards the project.
Cllr Clive Arthey, Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, said:
“CIL monies can be a long-term beneficial funding source which makes a real difference to residents in Babergh. These payments ensure housing growth in our district enables communities to thrive, not just now, but for many years to come.
“I am pleased that this round of funding has allowed us to make a significant contribution to a project which will not only preserve local heritage but will also accommodate electric vehicle charging points to tackle the effects of climate change.”
Other areas to receive CIL funding during this spending round include East Bergholt, successfully securing over £14,000 towards essential improvement works at Constable Memorial Hall, and the community of Cockfield, who will benefit from £25,000 towards an adventure playground. A joint bid for £8,000 from Suffolk County Council and Capel St Mary Parish Council to provide a bus shelter on Thorney Road was also given the green light.
District CIL is income retained by the district council to spend on infrastructure to support development. This money must be applied for and the decision to spend amounts above a certain level has to be taken by Cabinet. The next bidding round will be open between 1 – 31 May 2020. Successful bids will receive their funding in Autumn 2020.
Further information about how the CIL works can be found on the councils website, with details about how the levy has been allocated available on the councils’ award-winning Developer Contributions Database.