More than £9m given to Colchester Council from developers went unspent last year

Colchester Town Hall
Colchester Town Hall

More than £9million given to Colchester Council by property developers for affordable housing, community and sports facilities went unspent last year.

Colchester Council has reported £9,690,983.64 in Section 106 money had not been allocated to a specific project between April 1 2021-March 31 2022.

Only 29 affordable homes were built during the period, while 161 were secured to be built in the future, according to the council’s infrastructure funding statement.

Section 106 agreements are legal agreements between councils and developers, which require applicants to contribute financially to the local community in order to mitigate the impact of their schemes.

According to the report, published ahead of a local plan committee meeting next week (December 12), the figures do not include contributions secured for education, highways and transport, as Essex County Council is responsible for these areas.

A section read: “Colchester City Council is responsible for securing funding and the delivery of affordable homes, community facilities, sport and recreation including public open space.”

According to the report, £7,884,324.44 was agreed by the council through S106 obligations. £2,312,037.65 was received in S106 receipts and £1,361,479.38 of this was spent.

£1,120,847.61 was allocated for projects by the council, but had not been spent during the period covered by the report.

The report goes on to say £9,690,983.64 was held by the council which was yet to be allocated to a specific project.

Currently in Colchester’s local plan, which was adopted earlier this year, there is a requirement to build 920 homes a year, of which 278 should be affordable.

The report says 1,034 homes were built in Colchester during the period, higher than the requirement. Its population has increased 11.3 per cent from 173,100 in 2011 to 192,700 in 2021, according to the most recent census. Councillors will meet on December 12 to discuss the report.