Refusing planning applications could cost SDC millions in grant money

6:00pm Tuesday 11th March 2014

By Kate Wilson

REFUSING planning applications could cost Stroud District Council nearly £7,000 per home.

As part of the National Planning Policy Framework local councils can be awarded a New Homes Bonus by central government for increasing its housing supply.

The New Homes Bonus is awarded based on the amount of extra council tax revenue raised by each new home in the year and based on the banding of each property.

District councils receive 80 per cent of this amount whilst county councils receive the other 20 per cent.

The current band D rate is £1,444.13, so Stroud District Council is eligible to receive more than £1,150 every year for six years for each new home it approves.

However if Stroud District Council rejects an application which is subsequently overturned by the government, it would lose any potential bonus.

Currently there are three major applications for more than 100 homes in the Stroud district.

An application for 150 homes in Leonard Stanley was due to be decided at a meeting last night, Tuesday, and if the committee refused the application and it was then overturned on appeal SDC will have lost more than £1 million.

An appeal has recently been lodged against Stroud District Council’s decision to refuse planning permission for 112 homes at Baxter’s Field off Summer Street in Stroud.

It will now be decided at a public inquiry which will commence on Tuesday, May 20 at the Subscription Rooms in Stroud and if overturned SDC will lose out on nearly £800,000.

SDC planning officers also refused an application in November for 100 homes on Rodborough Fields which if overturned on appeal could cost the council another £700,000.

From these applications alone SDC could lose out on £2,500,000, which has led to fears that the council’s planning department could be financially motivated when making decisions.

A spokesman for SDC said: “Whilst the bonus isn’t a consideration when determining planning applications missing out on the bonus would have a consequential impact on council finances.”

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