Contributions made by developers for affordable housing, transport, leisure and schools improvements.
The vast majority of the payments made to the York Council by builders – to offset the impact that new developments have on the demand for public services – has not been spent by the Council.
Not only have projects which would increase public service capacity not been identified there is not record of the current administration having even discussed its plans for the cash mountain.
The amounts collected include several hundred thousand pounds as contributions towards the provision of ”affordable” housing. These are commuted sums paid when a developer is unable to provide cheaper accommodation “on site”.
Quite why the Council has simply not bought properties on the open market with this money is a mystery. It would be the quickest way of accommodating several dozen people who are currently living in poor quality accommodation.
The unused ”receipts” have led some developers to call for a “refund”. They point out, with some justification, that if their developments had caused an increase in demand for public services, then such demand must have been satisfied when the properties were occupied.
Banking the money for over 5 years suggests that the S106 system is simply being used as an additional “tax” on development. In part it may explain the low house building numbers in the City over the last 3 years.
Now they plan to demand that the monies are returned to them.
The figures were obtained under a Freedom of Information request.
A spreadsheet showing what payments have been made and how (some) of the money has been used, can be found by clicking here.
The paper does not include some of the largest S106 payments such as that scheduled to be used to build the “Community Stadium” at Monks Cross.