Developers can sometimes attract criticism, but they contribute much to the community we live in says Edward Parker

 Written by Edward Parker.

Most developments are subject to what are called Section 106 contributions, sums individually calculated by the local council and used to pay for facilities in the local area. These can include libraries, education and play equipment for public open areas.

Of these, education provision is by far the largest recipient and, although contributions vary, atBennettHomestypically we pay around £5,000 for every property we build – all of which goes to the local education authority.

In recent years, the percentage of affordable housing which must also be provided within each development has increased and now stands at anywhere between 25-45 pc of the total number. This means that homes are affordable to wider sections of the community and often these become rental units operated by housing associations.

As part of the planning process, developers often carry out and fund archaeological digs to ensure that the land to be built upon does not contain any remains of historical significance.

Another way in which developers contribute is in conserving local ecology by providing the likes of bat and bird boxes and hedgehog habitats, as well as making provision for insect habitats where trees have to be cut down. Typically we carry out bat and newt surveys as part of a planning application to ensure that any development would not endanger these populations.

Transport infrastructure is another beneficiary of Section 106 payments including highways, cycle links and footpaths.

Finally, open space is important and some of the contributions are used to create equipped play areas as well as places for local residents to enjoy.

BennettHomesis an award-winning family-run company based inEast Angliawhich has been building properties for over 65 years. Contact: 01284 766057 or www.bennett-homes.co.uk

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