From employment and education opportunities to new playgrounds, sports facilities and a sensory garden, communities across the city are benefitting from a range of projects funded by new development in the city.
The projects, which include affordable housing in Victoria Road, Portslade and new facilities at Varndean School, have all received contributions from property developers known as Section 106 Agreements.
Most of these projects could not happen without Section 106 funding.
Section 106 agreements, along with the newer Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), ensure that development in the city provides local improvements to benefit new residents and the existing community.
The agreements, made between developers and the council’s planning service, are an undertaking to provide works or financial contributions to improve the facilities, services and amenities in the area where building is taking place.
The contributions aim to reduce the impact of the development and make sure it does not place additional pressure on existing infrastructure. The level of contributions reflect the type and scale of the new development and its impact on the local community.
Over £5 million
Over the past year, Brighton & Hove City Council has raised over £5 million in Section 106 money from developments including:
- Coldean Lane development - £1.2million
- Lyon Close - £737k
- The former St Aubyns School in Rottingdean - £667k
- Greater Brighton Metropolitan College in Pelham Street - £469k
- Kings House, Grand Avenue - £318k
Funding secured in previous years have provided education, transport and employment opportunities along with £1.1m of improvements to recreation and sport facilities across the city
Projects have included:
- £374,000 towards expansion improvements at Varndean School
- £507,000 towards pedestrian sustainable transport improvements
- £440,000 to create new play area and fitness facility at Carden Park
- £100,000 for public art at Circus Street
- £75,000 towards a Rain Garden at Moulescoomb Primary School
- £48,000 to improve St Ann’s Well Sensory Garden in Hove
Section 106 agreements also ensure that developments provide sufficient affordable housing to achieve the council’s policy requirements.
In 2021/22, the council entered into 42 planning agreements which resulted in 132 new affordable homes being built in the city.
This includes affordable housing at Victoria Road in Portslade, which was funded from a development in Davigdor Road, Hove.
Section 106 obligations can also include “non-monetary” contributions, such as affordable housing units on site or open spaces or children’s play areas or transport mitigation such as Travel Plans.
Employment, training and transport
The development at the former Amex HQ site in Edward Street has provided long term employment and training with £134,000 funding, while Portland Road pedestrian works have been funded from various projects including the Westerman Complex in School Road.
Community Infrastructure Levy, is different to S106 payments in that it covers a much wider range of developments, and has a published tariff schedule for contributions so developers know how much they will have to pay.
Since its introduction in October 2020, the Community Infrastructure Levy, in Brighton & Hove has already resulted in contributions of £378,000.
Planning applications also have the potential to reach contributions of around £1,500,000 by summer 2023.
Around 75% of this money will be spent on projects already identified by the council However, funding will also be set aside for neighbourhood projects with communities invited to bid for funding next summer.
Long term benefits
Chair of planning, councillor Leo Littman, said: “Development is needed as our city evolves to meet the needs and challenges of its changing population, growing visitor numbers and the local economy.
"As a planning authority, it is our duty to ensure that this development has long-term benefits for the city and its residents.
“I am delighted that, through Section 106 agreements negotiated by our planning officers, we have been able to provide such a wide range of improvements, new projects and initiatives.
"Many of these not have been possible without such funding. These projects are already improving the quality of life for residents of our city.
“I am also pleased that, from next summer, we will be able to support may more community projects when local organisations have an opportunity to bid for CIL funding.”