Winchester parishes could see a major cash boost

Basingstoke Gazette: Winchester parishes could see a major cash boost Winchester parishes could see a major cash boost

PARISHES across Winchester could be about to see a major cash boost from developers for infrastructure and transport.

Winchester City Councillors met last Wednesday (March 20) to discuss the Community Infrastructure Levy, which could earn parishes 15 per cent of the tax for a development in their area.

The new charge, that the authority can apply to developers, will be used to fund infrastructure, including schools and community, sport and recreation facilities and transport schemes.

The tax will be divvied up between parishes (15 per cent), the Winchester town account (15 per cent) and Hampshire County Council (25 per cent). Five per cent will be used to cover administrative costs and the rest will go to Winchester City Council.

Councillors discussed whether 25 per cent should be permitted to parishes where a neighbourhood plan has been approved but the majority concurred that in the absence of any such forthcoming plans parishes would only qualify to receive 15 per cent.

The scheme does not cover the provision of additional capacity at some existing schools whereby funding can be allocated via alternative means.

These include Bishop’s Waltham Infants and Junior Schools, St John the Baptist Primary School, Sun Hill Infants and Junior Schools, Colden Common Primary School and Swanmore College of Technology Secondary School.

Cllr Richard Izard said: “It’s really good news for Colden Common that it has been recognised that there is a problem with the capacity of the school by excluding it from the CIL and that the contributions will be taken direct from developers.

“However the bad news for Colden Common is that by refusing 25 per cent to the parish, it means £95,000 will not come to the village for infrastructure by way of CIL.”

Cllr Kelsie Learney said: “This is one of the ways our parishes can fund infrastructure rather than increase council tax.”

Karen Barrett said: “Having had a look at it, it seems incredibly complicated. I just think it’s going to be a nightmare quite honestly; I’m rather disappointed with the whole thing.”

But Cllr Victoria Weston tried to waylay any concerns.

She said: “It’s a complex system but officers are getting to grips with it and we have full time staff to look after this and it will be as successful as we can make it.”

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