New charge yields over £330,000 in first major payment

Communities in Brighton & Hove are set to benefit from more than £330,000 as part of a new planning contribution on development. 

The council has received £334,694 as part of the Coombe Farm development in Saltdean. It is the first major payment from the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), charged to developers as part of the planning process for some developments.

Coombe Farm will provide 72 homes in Saltdean. They will range from one to four bedrooms, with 29 affordable to rent or buy. At least four will be designed to be wheelchair accessible.

The potential charge for this scheme was £491,271, but as the developer is providing 40% affordable homes, affordable housing relief was applied of £156,576.

The money will be spent on infrastructure projects; £50,000 is ringfenced for councillors to decide with their communities how it will be spent in Rottingdean Coastal ward, with the remaining £267,000 for projects anywhere in the city (the total amount also includes a 5% admin fee).

Great news for communities across Brighton & Hove

Councillor Marianna Ebel, lead member for planning policy said: “The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a set charge, which provides much more certainty for developers about how much money we expect them to contribute.

“It is great news for communities across Brighton & Hove which will benefit from the CIL payments.

“The CIL charge also encourages developers to provide the full quota of affordable homes as they may then receive a discount. The city’s planning policy states that developers should offer at least 40% affordable homes to rent or buy.

“A recent report listed the city as being one of the least affordable to live in for people earning the living wage*, so providing as many well designed, low-cost homes as possible is crucial.”

In addition to the CIL, the council’s planning team negotiated further contributions of £53,400 for public art on the site, and £32,000 toward the local employment scheme which offers opportunities for apprenticeships and work for local people in construction. The development will provide highways improvements including a new pedestrian crossing.

Find more on the Community Infrastructure Levy on our planning web pages.

A recent survey by Investing Reviews put Brighton and Hove as the fifth least affordable city in the UK for those on minimum wage.

Coombe Farm housing development

Developer Gold Construction have given notice that they will be starting work on site in October.

The first phase, expected to take five months, will involve the demolition of buildings and construction of an access road. The developer will employ a local workforce, half from Brighton & Hove and half from the East Sussex area.

Gold Construction are responsible for setting out how they will undertake construction works to minimise disruption, keep residents and neighbours informed and respond to any concerns. This includes hours of working and measures for managing local traffic.

They are committed to resident liaison group meetings and contact details for the site manager, Jonny Mitchell, will be highlighted on the construction hoardings.

You can find further information in the Construction Environmental Management Plan on our planning register. Search for Coombe Farm, application number BH2020/00002.

A planning enforcement officer will visit the site early during the construction programme to check on and ensure compliance with planning conditions.

The site is registered with the Considerate Constructors Scheme. Any persistent issues (eg inconsiderate parking, out of hours work and deliveries etc) can be logged direct with the scheme by email at complaints@ccscheme.org.uk or call 0800 783 1423.

You can find more information about the Coombe Farm development from the planning committee of 2 December 2020.

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