Council recovers £288k debt for community facilities after seven-year wait

PUBLISHED: 07:00 27 February 2020

Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner, helped to promot Persimmon to repay the funds.Picture: Lily Newton-Browne

Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner, helped to promot Persimmon to repay the funds.Picture: Lily Newton-Browne

Lily Newton-Browne

A debt of almost £300,000 has been paid to Portishead Town Council by developers after a seven-year wait.

Developer Persimmon Homes owed North Somerset Council more than £400,000 in community payments which were agreed as part of the Ashlands site development in Portishead almost 20 years ago.

North Somerset Council started legal proceedings against the company in January after years of fighting for the cash.

The council issued an invoice to Persimmon in April 2013 after it conducted an investigation while working with Portishead Town Council.

The authorities have now settled on a revised sum worth £288,000 - £112,000 down from the original figure owed by the developer.

The money has been received by Portishead Town Council and the funds will go towards the maintenance of football pitches in Portishead in Clapton Lane.

Chair of Portishead Town Council, Paul Gardner, said: "Having highlighted the issue just before Christmas, we thank the Persimmon team which has worked constructively with us and North Somerset Council since then to swiftly bring this matter to a close.

"This is a significant sum of money that will now be available to benefit people who use the communal football pitches."

Persimmon built homes at the Ashlands site nearly 20 years ago, and the amount owed by Persimmon fell under section 106 money, funds developers are required to pay as part of planning agreements.

The designated funds go towards large projects in areas that housing companies submit plans to build in, which falls under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.

Portishead Town Council says Persimmon agreed to maintain the pitches in town until the sites' ownership was transferred to North Somerset Council.

The pitches are now due to be transferred to the authority in the coming weeks.

Director in charge at Persimmon Homes Severn Valley, Paul Moody, said: "We are grateful to Portishead Town Council for bringing this matter to our attention and we are pleased to have resolved the issue for the benefit of the community.

"We look forward to working together with the authority in future."

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