Andrew Shorthouse, Development Officer within the Place Directorate, was welcomed to the meeting.
Members noted the principles around the provision of Section 106 finance, in essence a contribution from developers towards areas such as public open space, education, highways and affordable housing.
The meeting heard of the process for projects to be approved, through a strategic panel. It was suggested that officers with any prospective project discuss this with Andrew in the first instance, who, if suitable, would direct the project to be developed with colleagues in the appropriate department.
Members noted that projects were being developed for a number of sites within the Penistone Area to improve access to green space. These were being developed with the assistance of officers within the parks department, taking account of the playing pitch strategy and the strategic park sites within the borough. It was acknowledged that the finance was generally spent in close proximity to the contributing site for this element of Section 106.
Members discussed affordable housing provision, noting the preference for this to be provided on the site. If this was not viable, then provision would be sought within the vicinity. If these could not be delivered a commuted sum would be provided, which would be used within the vicinity of the associated development if possible. Only if there was risk that affordable housing could not be delivered in the area would the authority look to use the finance elsewhere.
It was noted that the most recent housing developments in the Penistone area did include affordable housing provision on site. A suggestion was made to invite an officer within the housing team to a future meeting to discuss the affordable housing planned and currently being delivered within the area.
Thanks were given to Andrew for his contribution.