Chichester District Council to discuss cash pot for homes


PARISHES allowing new development are set to share in a pot of £1.6m to fund community projects.

Members of Chichester District Council’s cabinet will debate the new homes bonus policy at their meeting tomorrow (April 1).

In his report to cabinet, assistant director of communities Steve Hansford said: “The government’s intention in separating out the new homes bonus is to reward communities for taking development.”

In December, members approved a parish allocation of £400,000 a year for the next four years, subject to government funding and council confirmation each year.

Now, they are being asked to approve the rules which will govern how the money is allocated.

If the policy is approved, parishes will have to submit bids for the bonus by July, with Chichester’s grants and concessions panel making decisions in September.

The policy says the new homes bonus ‘rewards communities that have taken housing growth’ and councils should consult their communities on how it is used.

Its aims are to: improve quality of life, allocate money, enhance local facilities, aid service provision, offer greater financial sustainability and encourage communities to identify their needs. A trial period last year saw nearly £315,000 given to 29 parish-led projects.

Mr Hansford said the bonus demonstrated a ‘strong commitment’ to seeing the ‘benefits’ of new development realised.