Mid Suffolk communities receive £370,000 funding boost
Housing growth in Mid Suffolk will fund a range of local projects, following agreement by councillors – including the expansion of Mendlesham Health Centre, a carbon reduction initiative, and new community facilities.
Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is collected from developers when they build new homes in the district, ensuring local infrastructure keeps pace with housing growth – and supporting the council’s vision for communities with bright and healthy futures.
Councillors considered bids from the latest CIL funding round at today’s Cabinet meeting, with unanimous agreement reached on proposals to contribute over £239,000 towards the proposed expansion of Mendlesham Health Centre.
The surgery, which serves almost 8,000 patients from Mendlesham and the surrounding villages, is currently running at over capacity, with demand set to rise following planned housing growth within the next five years.
CIL funding will facilitate an increase in clinical space to meet this anticipated growth. The additional space will also enable other allied health care professionals such as a clinical pharmacists, physiotherapists, chiropodists, phlebotomists and counsellors to provide services to the community.
It is hoped that the expansion will encourage hospital consultants to have outpatient clinics at the health centre, providing vital services for local residents on their doorstep and alleviating the need for them to travel miles to the nearest hospital.
Proposals also include a newly designed waiting room, a larger dispensary capacity, and improved car parking facilities. Sustainable transport options will be promoted with patients benefitting from the installation of two new electric vehicle charging points and cycle racks.
Another successful CIL bid set to help the district work towards its ambition of addressing climate change, is the allocation of £50,000 in funding for the provision of a new Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil (HVO) Fuel Tank at the council’s Creeting Road depot in Stowmarket.
This will pave the way for the council’s fleet to use alternative low carbon fuel – providing a reduction in carbon emissions of up to 90% and meeting the objectives set out in the council’s 2019 Climate Emergency Declaration.
Whilst this requires an initial outlay, using HVO will result in lower maintenance costs and a longer engine life for the council’s public realm, housing, and waste and recycling collection vehicles.
Securing a brighter future for Mid Suffolk residents will also be made possible by the allocation of £18,487 in CIL to partially fund the installation of a running track at Gislingham’s Church of England Primary School.
The track will primarily be used for the Daily Mile initiative, which aims to encourage school pupils to participate in daily exercise – helping them to lead active and healthy lifestyles. It will also be made available for use by the wider community, outside of school hours, and local clubs have already expressed an interest in training at the new facility.
Haughley is another smaller community benefiting from this round of CIL funding, following councillors approving two bids totalling £62,532 for works to the village’s Ron Crascall Pavilion. The first bid, for £22,595, will help finance the improvement and expansion of the pavilion’s car park, forming a key part of the project to regenerate and revitalise King George’s Field.
Funding of £39,937 has also been agreed to contribute towards the cost of installing a designated secure storage outbuilding at the pavilion. This will be replace the current facility, which has, sadly, previously been a target for crime. Storage will be provided for multiple local organisations, including the football club, bowls club, Scouts, Royal British Legion, and Haughley Parish Council.
Cllr David Burn, Mid Suffolk District Council Cabinet Member for Planning said:
“It’s great news that this latest round of CIL funding will support a range of local projects and provide the infrastructure needed to keep pace with growth.
“All bids are set to make a real difference to the district, but I’m especially pleased that over £239,000 has been agreed to facilitate the much-needed expansion of Mendlesham Health Centre, benefitting not just Mendlesham residents but also those in the surrounding villages. Our communities need accessible local health services in order to thrive and enjoy bright and healthy futures – and we are reminded of this now more than ever.
“CIL Funding will also further our council’s ambition to use Hydrotreated Vegetable Oil fuel in our fleet vehicles – protecting our environment and helping meet our aim of achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2030, as we all work towards a greener Suffolk.”
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 significant amounts has to be taken by Cabinet.
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.