Former Mayor of Penarth – and a former Labour councillor – Philip Rapier has used a Freedom of Information request to confirm the details of the Section 106 cash to be paid by developers to the Vale of Glamorgan Council to allow work to start on the controversial 30-apartment scheme at Northcliff Lodge.
Until May this year the outspoken Mr Rapier had represented Penarth’s St Augustines Ward on the Town Council – but evidently his independently-minded attitude fell foul of local Labour Party apparatchiks.
The Labour Party chiefs invented new “residency” rules which precluded Cllr Rapier from standing again in St Augustines – ostensibly on the basis that his home is a couple of yards on the wrong side of the St Augustine’s Ward boundary.
Since the May election in which he was not allowed to stand – Mr Rapier has however continued to pay a close interest to developments in his former Ward – not least the controversial 30-apartment Northcliff Lodge development .He has now received a formal Freedom of Information response from the Vale of Glamorgan Council on the Northcliff Lodge development.
Mr Rapier had asked exactly how much Section 106 money did the Council currently expect, contractually , to receive from the developers of Northcliffe Lodge.
[PDN Note: Section 106 contributions are sums which developers are required to pay to local councils to mitigate the effects of their schemes. The money has to be used or the benefit of the community within the localities of the specific development ]
The Vale Council formally responded as follows:-
“The Council’s Planning Committee recently recommended approval of an application at Northcliffe Lodge (reference: 2017/00541/FUL) for
“Demolition of existing dwelling and outbuilding, erection of 30 apartments, new access and alterations to adjacent parking area, replacement tree planting and landscaping and associated works (resubmission application)”.
The Planning Committee resolved to approve the application, subject to the interested person(s) first entering into a Section 106 Legal Agreement to include the following necessary planning obligations: –
• Provide an off-site contribution of £263,760 towards affordable housing;
• Pay a contribution of £36,240 towards community facilities to enhance
existing facilities within the ward; and
• to meet the planning obligations administrative fee of £6,000.”
These figures – quoted by the Vale of Glamorgan Council in the FoI response – broadly tally with those which were quoted verbally at the September 2017 meeting of the Vale Council Planning Committee at which councillors reluctantly passed the Northcliff Lodge planning application. [see PDN report http://tinyurl.com/y7y8b7jq ].
What isn’t clear, from the council’s reply to Mr Rapier, is whether the Northcliff Lodge developers have yet agreed to pay the required sums in order to proceed with the development .
Before any actual building work can start on the Northcliff Lodge site, the developers have to present to the council what’s called a “comprehensive geotechnical assessment” – which is to be carried out to “manage the flood risk and ground stability issues in the interests of public health and safety”.
….And if any bats are found in or around the existing “retaining wall” of “all works must cease immediately and remain ceased pending consultation with Natural Resources Wales, and details of the bats shall be reported to the Local Planning Authority in writing”