Sands school project fund now waived

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DEVELOPERS behind the North Bay’s Sands scheme have successfully applied to vary agreed payments towards affordable housing and educational projects.

They argued that an obligation to pay £140,364.52 for facilities at Northstead School should be waived because the majority of flats at the development were holiday lets and not ideally suited for permanent family accommodation.

Members of Scarborough Council’s Planning Committee heard that a sum of £463,144.22 had already been paid towards affordable housing – leaving £74,422.04 outstanding which should be reduced to £1,600.

The payments are known as Section 106 agreements, which are legally binding, and usually fund community facilities. They are set out at the time planning permission is granted – in this case 2004.

In a letter to the committee Cllr Peter Popple argued that the school was desperate for funds for its pupils.

Cllr Amanda Robinson said that the developer would have known at the time of the original application that the flats were mainly holiday lets and there would not be many families there. She said: “They agreed to pay this money and it’s come back to us because most of the homes are to be used as holiday lets.”

Jill Low, the council’s planning manager, said that developers were entitled to renegotiate Section 106 agreements. She said: “At the time, in 2004, we took the view there was a likelihood children would be living there. At the time they did argue that there would be little likelihood that children would be living there.”

Cllr Dorothy Clegg said she was worried that if permission was granted it would set a precedent for other developers to appeal against the agreements and Cllr Dilys Cluer said there was every likelihood that families could live there in the future.

Six councillors voted in favour of the application, three members were against it and there was one abstention.