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1,600 home planning approval decision is "ludicrous", Sir Bob tells Commons
7:00pm Monday 21st October 2013 in News
A DECISION to allow a developer to build 1,600 homes without securing funding for two schools has been labelled “ludicrous” in the House of Commons.
After the meeting, the Gazette revealed Essex County Council was reconsidering its education plans “in light of Colchester Council’s decision not to prioritise education provision for section 106 funding”.
County Hall said Colchester Council should have sought a developer contribution of £14.6 million towards the construction of a primary and secondary school on the site. Instead, only £1 million has been pledged, along with the land.
Sir Bob said he had met Essex education officers who had also confirmed the authority did not have the funds to build the new schools.
Yesterday, the Lib Dem asked Planning Minister Nick Boles whether it was Government policy that “adequate funds to finance the building of schools form part of the planning approval”.
Mr Boles replied the agreements had to ensure developments included facilities like schools which made them sustainable.
Sir Bob said: “This battle is still raging. It would be ludicrous to build an estate of 1,600 without the funds for the two schools.”
A final decision on the outline bid has yet to be made by Communities & Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles.
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