It is relatively common knowledge that developers who are building houses in the area are required to make contributions to the local community. This is to ensure that there is improvements to the local infrastructure to support an influx of new residents.
What is not as well known is that these funds could be returned to the developers.
In Auchterarder there is to be approximately £600,000 available through the Auchterarder Community Facilities fund. The criteria to be able to access these funds states –
- Projects should be located within the settlement boundary of Auchterarder as defined
by the adopted Local Development Plan. Projects which start within the boundary but
extend out with, such as core path improvements, would be acceptable;
- Projects should be linked to mitigating the impact of the new housing within the
scope of the Auchterarder Development Framework on the public realm or facilities;
- Projects should improve the amenity of the public realm or facilities and should
consider a range of funding streams in addition to the Community Facilities Fund to
ensure maximum value. Money cannot be used for projects which are already fully
funded from other sources. Projects being brought forward with contributions from
other funding streams will be able to access gap funding from the Community
- Projects should identify any ongoing maintenance or eventual replacement costs and
demonstrate that this can be secured through existing or future budgets.
There is also another caveat which states – The funding will not be used to fund a single large project, but will be spread across a range of projects.
What the funding application and/or general publicity does not tell you is that the money is only available for a maximum of 5 years. If it is not spent within that timescale then according to the Section 75 agreement made between the developers and Perth and Kinross Council, the money shall be returned to the entity that paid it in the first place.
Which basically means that if local community groups do not apply and receive this funding within 5 years then the developers can get it back.
There is already a sizeable sum that expires in 2022, only 4 years away.
With a growing community this money should be spent on a community facility that can be enjoyed by all. Let’s get our thinking caps on and help the community benefit before the developers end up with their money back.