House firms warned over payments for Mansfield parks

Terrace Lane play park is soon to be revamped and have new equipment installed
Terrace Lane play park is soon to be revamped and have new equipment installed

Developers wanting to build homes in the Mansfield area are being warned they should be stumping up the cash to pay for parks and green spaces.

The warning comes from Mansfield District Council’s portfolio holder for the environment, Coun Phil Shields, who says housing firms are beginning to offer less money for recreational space when applying to build.

Under the Section 106 (S106) agreement, developers should be either providing the necessary provision, or by paying out an additional £1,100 per house proposed if more than six homes are given planning permission on a plot of land.

The money can then used by Mansfield District Council to create or improve recreational areas

However, Coun Shields says applications for building homes are beginning to receive planning permission without the applicants offering the agreed money.

Coun Shields, who sits on the planning committee, expressed his concerns.

“By not paying the money they should be, developers are making a profit at the expense of young children’s play areas, and we need to take a stand against this,” he explained.

“These housing firms are now saying they can’t afford to pay £1,100, well the message should be simple that if they can’t pay it, the houses won’t be built.

“They all know it’s that amount, and the message is getting through that we’re a soft touch.”

Coun Shields referred to recent application in which 25 homes were given the green light on Hermitage Lane .

It was expected that around £210,000 worth of additional funding should have been agreed through the S106, to go towards affordable housing, education contributions and open spaces.

But it was eventually agreed that £142,000 would be paid, because of issues over the ‘viability’ of the land.

“If developers can’t make it viable, then don’t apply to build on it,” added Coun Shields.

“That’s £68,000 that has gone.”

“It’s further profit to the developer at the expense of the people.

“It should be non-negotiable, and we have to take a stand on it. It only takes one to through and developers will pick up on that.”