New homes cash to balance budget

A11 Week 42'MCBH'DP'Application passed to change the old auctioneers ring into an office in Winslow - pictured is Cllr Llew Monger chairman of Winslow Town Council
A11 Week 42'MCBH'DP'Application passed to change the old auctioneers ring into an office in Winslow - pictured is Cllr Llew Monger chairman of Winslow Town Council
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AYLESBURY Vale District Council is proposing to use money received under the New Homes Bonus Scheme money to help balance its budget in the coming financial year.

The New Homes Bonus is an incentive announced last year by central government as an encouragement to local communities to accept new housing development.

It takes the form of a grant payment of about £1,439 for each new home completed, and this is paid every year for the following six years.

‘Affordable housing’ units attract an additional payment of £350, also for six years.

As the planning authority, AVDC will receive 80 per cent of the New Homes Bonus money, while the county council receives 20 per cent.

And with about 700 new homes a year being completed in the Vale, AVDC is set to benefit to the tune of some £810,000.

Cabinet member for resources, Neil Blake, has proposed using £334,000 of that money to balance the budget in the coming financial year.

The draft budget goes to AVDC cabinet on January 17 and, if approved, will go to full council on February 1.

Mayor of Winslow Llew Monger told the Advertiser: “My view is that at least 50 per cent of New Homes Bonus should be allocated directly to the communities where new homes are being built.”

AVDC finance director Andrew Small said: “On January 17, the cabinet will be considering a policy report on the application of amounts received under the New Homes Bonus scheme announced in 2011 by the government.

“One of the key points recommended in the report is that the bonus shouldn’t be passported to the communities receiving the growth as to do so would remove the opportunity to invest in local schemes which would benefit more than just those communities.

“Instead, it is recommended that all communities would be entitled to propose business case supported applications for elements of the funding to support local initiatives.”