Residents and those in the development industry will be able to see how money collected from developers as part of planning agreements is being spent on providing infrastructure for local communities when a new database goes online.
Both Babergh and Mid Suffolk are working with the software provider Exacom as part of a pilot exercise involving two other local authorities to hone this innovative, new database which will transform the way that information is held for developer contributions paid for by legal agreements and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).
Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils Section 106 and CIL data will be used by the software provider in the launch of the Planning Obligations Public Facing Module across the country. This will be hosted on the Councils’ websites later in the summer and will enable people to search for information by district, ward, parish or infrastructure type with details of where monies are collected, allocated and spent. It will also allow people to see legal agreements secured as part of the planning process. The information will be updated daily.
Babergh and Mid Suffolk expect to be able to host this database on their websites in the summer. Today, their data was used as part of the national launch of the database by Exacom.
The Public Facing Module, comprising of information on infrastructure funding in Babergh and Mid Suffolk can be viewed online.
Ralph Taylor and Geoff Kirby, Directors of Exacom, said: “We believe that this is a revolution in planning obligation transparency and will set the future standard in planning obligation transparency for the rest of the UK. We would like to thank Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Council for their assistance in launching this project with their planning obligation data”.
Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Councillor Nick Ridley, said: “This is ground breaking technology and we are sure that residents across the district will be interested to see how contributions secured from developers as part of planning applications are benefiting their local communities. We are proud to be the first local authorities in the country to demonstrate this database.”
Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Assets and Investment, Councillor Nick Gowrley, said: “This exciting project is the culmination of two and a half years’ work which will bring together a range of detailed data on our website in the summer for the benefit of residents, people in the development industry, our Parish Councils, Councillors and community groups. This speaks to the Council’s agenda of openness and transparency and the database will provide information in real time in that it will update every 24 hours”