Chichester developer disputes claim over deadline

A developer has disputed it has missed a deadline to contribute £25,000 towards a piece of artwork for a new housing site in Chichester.

As part of a Section 106 arrangement Linden Homes is required to contribute the cash for some artwork within six months of its development start date at the Osborne site, Stockbridge Road.

Last week at a full district council meeting, Cllr Alan Chaplain asked: “Is the leader aware that commissioning should take place within six months of the operative date – that is, by Monday, July 25, 2011?”

“What is the present position, particularly as this council is required by the terms of the legal agreement to be a consultee in the matter?”

However Linden Homes has said all contributions that have been required to date have been made, and the deadline for the artwork is ‘not due at the moment’.

A district council spokesman said: “As part of a Section 106 arrangement the developer agreed to contribute £25,000 towards a piece of artwork for the Canal Basin area. It was agreed that within six months of the development start date the developer would commission the artwork to be approved by West Sussex County Council.

“However, if this is not completed, the agreement also has an additional clause. This allows the developer to give the £25,000 direct to the district council to commission the artwork, before the keys to the final privately-bought property within the development are ready to be handed over.

“The developer has confirmed their intention is to give the £25,000 to the council rather than commission the artwork themselves.”

Mr Chaplain said he would be investigating the matter further.

Linden Homes is redeveloping the Osborne House site at Stockbridge Road to make way for a mixture of apartments and houses. The developer is also erecting a Canal Trust commercial building. Planning permission for the works was granted in 2007.

Section 106 agreements are also known as planning obligations. When certain developments are built, the developers may have to enter into a legal contract.

This will depend on planning policies and involves giving something back to the local community. This is a legally binding agreement between the council, developer and any other parties with an interest in the site.

The purpose of a Section 106 agreement is to:

- ease the effects caused by a development. For example, creating more school places, additional facilities for the community, and building new roads;

- compensate the local community for any impact caused by a development (for example, if open space is lost);

- help shape the new development, to include affordable homes.