Three new villages could raise £5.4million in tax for cash-strapped council
PUBLISHED: 09:00 08 December 2017
Three new villages on the outskirts of North Somerset could raise an extra £5.4million a year in council tax.
The Vale development has been proposed by Taylor Wimpey for greenbelt land between Barrow Gurney and Long Ashton.
Plans include 4,500 new homes and financial contributions which could pay for four new schools and a healthcare hub.
North Somerset Council would receive approximatey £5.4million a year in additional council tax if plans went ahead. The Vale could also deliver £11.4m of additional revenue to the authority through the community infrastructure levy and new homes bonus.
Despite these figures, the proposals have been excluded from the Joint Spatial Plan (JSP).
Taylor Wimpey’s project director Gareth Hawke said: “As Government funding continues to fall, all councils face tough spending decisions.
“But The Vale would make a significant difference to North Somerset Council’s finances, contributing £5.4million a year – that’s nearly double the council’s overspend last year. And that’s just council tax. There are many more ways in which the council would benefit financially from our development.
“Unfortunately, the council has excluded The Vale from the current draft of the JSP. This is in spite of a great deal of support for The Vale across the wider community.
“Another major financial consideration is that the infrastructure – particularly roads – needed to support many of the proposed major sites in the JSP, must be funded. And some of the proposed new roads are very ambitious and will cost the council vast amounts of money.
“One of the huge advantages The Vale has, is the roads are already built – it sits adjacent to the A38, the A370 and the new South Bristol Link Road, which has a dedicated Metrobus lane delivering passengers to Temple Meads within 12 minutes.
“Do the people of North Somerset really want to spend lots of money on new roads when these are already paid for?”
North Somerset Council has produced the JSP alongside other West of England authorities in Bristol, South Gloucestershire and Bath and North East Somerset to set out development aims – including allocating sites for 25,000 new homes in the area – until 2036.