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MP settles councillors’ £50,000 question

Posted on June 18 2008 at 4:20:25

Bromsgrove District Council acted within its rights in allocating money to the MUGA on Swans Length, it has been confirmed.

MP Julie Kirkbride was asked by Alvechurch parish councillors David Matthews and John Cypher to investigate why £50,000 apparently intended for spending on The Meadows had gone towards the Swans Length project.

This was so-called “106 money”, which developers pay to the planning authority instead of providing play equipment within a development.
In this case the money was paid to Bromsgrove by the developers of Mill Court in Alvechurch.

In his report allowing the development, the Planning Inspector had specified “a contribution towards the neighbourhood equipped area of play off Meadow Lane”.

But when the MP asked Bromsgrove for an explanation of why the money was being spent elsewhere, the planning department said the binding ”unilateral undertaking” – issued before the Inspector made his recommendation – was what mattered.

This stated that the contribution be towards “formal play equipment within the parish of Alvechurch”.

Ms Kirkbride told the parish councillors: “I had rather assumed the Planning Inspector couldn’t tie the hands of the Local Authority as to where the money should be spent.”

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