Nine much-needed community infrastructure projects will receive funding boosts totalling over £232,000, following decisions by Babergh and Mid Suffolk District Councils.
In April this year, both councils voted to approve a new scheme that would use the funds collected from property developers under the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) to invest in infrastructure projects that benefit communities in Babergh and Mid Suffolk.
Babergh District Council approved three bids in Cockfield totalling £75,000. This will see the provision of recreation land and a shelter, together with improvements to the village hall (including a refurbished kitchen and a dedicated electric supply). Lindsey Village Hall will also get an electric vehicle charging point.
Babergh District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Nick Ridley, said:
“We’ve been collecting CIL since April 2016 and it is great that we are now able to see some of this money going towards infrastructure which will really benefit residents in our area. I hope to see many more worthy bids coming forward in our next bid round starting in October 2018.”
Mid Suffolk District Council approved six bids in Stowmarket, Botesdale, Laxfield and Stowupland, totalling £156,000. The funding will go towards bus stop improvements in Stowmarket and Laxfield as well as enhancements to Stowupland Village Hall and Sports and Social Club.
One bid totalling £98,000 was agreed as part of a larger spend by the NHS and GP practice for Botesdale Health Centre, which totals over £552,000. The money will go towards an extension and improvements at the centre to increase capacity and provide palliative care for residents in the area.
Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Planning, Cllr Glen Horn, said:
“I’m pleased that we’re starting to see the provision of infrastructure through the CIL scheme. In order to provide for new homes in our district, this type of provision is crucial to enabling us to support our communities.”
Money for the approved projects will be released soon and it will be crucial that all efforts continue to be focused on delivery of infrastructure to support new housing and growth going forward. Decisions to approve bids will be taken every six months in line with the CIL Expenditure Framework.
Ward Member for Cockfield and Monks Eleigh, Cllr Clive Arthey, said:
“I’m pleased we were able to take this opportunity to increase the facilities available to our communities. It’s an amazing achievement that all the bids were approved. This represents a culmination of hard work by many people. The Cockfield projects in particular have been ongoing over a long period of time and I am sure the residents of the village will be very appreciative of this financial support.”
Ward Member for Stowupland, Cllr Keith Welham said:
“I welcome approval of the bids for improvements to Stowupland Village Hall and the Sports and Social Club. Development of leisure and sports facilities in the village is vital, especially as the population is set for dramatic growth in the next few years.”
Cllr Barry Humphreys, Cllr Gary Green and Cllr Dave Muller, Ward Members for Stowmarket North said:
“These public transport improvements are a good start to improving our infrastructure within Stowmarket. Over £13,000 has also been spent from other funding for Stowhealth so we’re really working hard to make an impactful change.”
Ward Member for Botesdale, Cllr Jessica Fleming said:
“This health project represents a significant amount of spend both for the NHS and the GP practice but also for the District Council. This project is a great example of bodies working together to deliver much needed improvements for our communities.”
Mid Suffolk District Council’s Cabinet Member for Communities and Ward Member for Laxfield, Cllr Julie Flatman said:
“It’s great to see the money collected from the CIL being put to good use in our community. This has been a very successful bid round and I look forward to the next round later in the year”.
Ward Member for Lindsey, Cllr Bryn Hurren said:
“This project will allow us to plan for the future with a new electric vehicle charging point. This encourages our residents to make greener transport choices.”