Little Stanion Parish Council ‘weren’t consulted’ over proposed £2m let-off for developer

The organisation only found out about the plan after reading it on the Northants Telegraph website

By Kate Cronin
Wednesday, 8th July 2020, 3:53 pm
Little Stanion residents are not happy about the proposals. Picture: Little Stanion Parish Council
Little Stanion residents are not happy about the proposals. Picture: Little Stanion Parish Council

A parish council has reacted furiously to the news that a developer could have a £2m agreement torn up.

The Northants Telegraph reported this morning that the developer of Little Stanion, JME Developments, had told Corby Council that it couldn’t pay the £2m toward community facilities that it owed as part of the agreement it made when it was given planning permission.

The £2m had been due to go toward local schooling. Corby currently does not have enough school places for the children that live here and some children from Little Stanion are having to be bussed to other schools in the borough.

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A meeting to discuss tearing up the four-year-old agreement was planned for tonight (Wednesday, July 8).

But the local parish council says the first it heard of the meeting was when it read about it online today. It says it hasn’t been consulted and is now calling for a full public consultation over the decision.

This is not the first time that the Section 106 agreement for Little Stanion has been altered at the request of the developer. Last time it was mooted in 2015, Corby Council threatened legal action and eventually, a year later, came to an agreement to lower the amount payable from £6m to £2m.

But during that period, many local people were given the chance to object and public meetings were held.

This time, local people were only given a few days’ notice of the meeting.

Little Stanion Parish Council Vice Chair Ray Kilham said: “We didn’t even know about this meeting until we read about it on your website.

”At no point has Corby Council’s planning department been in touch with us about this.

”Local people are furious and have been talking about it on social media all morning.

”We would have objected to the proposal and we would have called for a public consultation.”

An detailed objection to the proposal by Northants County Council was also made public today. It says: “The county council objects to the current application to modify the existing S106 agreement relating to development at Little Stanion on the grounds that the s106 obligations relating to the development continue to serve a useful purpose, which cannot be equally well served through the proposed modification.

“The existing s106 contains covenants and obligations related to the provision of infrastructure at Little Stanion directly relating to the impact of the development on existing infrastructure, and secures (amongst other obligations):

• £11k per dwelling Little Stanion Community Payment, allocated to the cost of delivering the Little Stanion Primary School

• Little Stanion Uplift Payment, allocated to the cost of delivering the Little Stanion Primary School

• On-site highways works (including roads, footpaths and other infrastructure) to be completed to adoptable standards.

”In providing the means by which the Little Stanion Primary School and on-site Highways works are to be delivered these obligations clearly fulfil a useful purpose, being directly related to the development, compliant with adopted policy, and necessary for the benefit of the community it serves.

“The current application seeks to remove these obligations in full, thereby reducing the s106 contribution towards the cost of the Little Stanion Primary School to £nil and removing the requirement for on-site highways infrastructure to be delivered to an adoptable standard.

“Furthermore, the 2019 viability assessment submitted with this application does not appear to provide sufficient information or evidence to justify the identified costs, specifically those relating to Highways and Utilities infrastructure.”

Corby Council have been contacted for comment. The virtual meeting is due to take place at 7pm and will be broadcast on a YouTube.