Decision Maker: Executive Member for Culture, Delivery and Public Protection
Decision status: Recommendations Approved
Is Key decision?: No
Is subject to call in?: Yes
To seek approval to release £23.49k of S106 funding for improvements to the Icehouse at The Chesnuts and to enhance the visitor experience.
That £23,991.08 of S106 contributions are allocated to fund improvements at The Chestnuts
i. Developer contributions are collected through S106 agreements to support “providing, expanding or improving open space, and/or outdoor recreational facilities (which may include the acquisition and/or improvement of land and/or buildings and/or carrying out or assisting in the carrying out of nature/landscaping conservation projects) within 3 kilometres of the Site.”
ii. The justification for requiring developers to supporting the improvement of open space and outdoor recreational facilities is given in The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF):
‘8. Promoting healthy and safe communities
98. Access to a network of high-quality open spaces and opportunities for sport and physical activity is important for the health and well-being of communities, and can deliver wider benefits for nature and support efforts to address climate change…’
iii. The improvements deliver key objectives in The Council Plan 2019-2023:
• continue to provide easy access to the natural environment
• protect our highly valued green spaces and strategic green gaps
iv. The borough council has adopted a Parks and Open Spaces Strategy (2012) and the improvements at The Chestnuts are in accordance with delivering the following two priorities:
1. Monitor and assess quality standards across parks and open spaces. Manage sites to a high standard; carry out improvement works to sustain and improve quality in line with the Bracknell Forest Council ‘Plus One Principle’ and relevant national guidance.
6. Enhance the natural qualities of parks and open spaces. Protect and enhance biodiversity.
Positively manage trees and woodlands, to include new planting to provide for future
v. Historic England explain the importance of our historic environment in their report Heritage Counts 2014: THE VALUE AND IMPACT OF HERITAGE:
‘The majority of people in England visit heritage sites and believe that they are important to local communities. The historic environment is valued for its contribution to our knowledge and sense of identity, and because it helps to make places feel ‘special.’’
i. Not carrying out these enhancements could lead to a failure to meet the objectives in The Council Plan and Parks and Open Spaces Strategy. It would also be a missed opportunity to preserve an important heritage feature that could bring value to the local community.
ii. Not using the s106 development monies could result in a failure to mitigate the impact of development and be a missed opportunity for ‘providing, expanding or improving open space, and/or outdoor recreational facilities.’
iii. It could lead to funds being returned to the developers if no other qualifying scheme was located through which to deliver enhancements in the time available.
iv. The wide range of S106 open space and recreation contributions available in the borough have been assessed to eliminate those lying outside the distance constraints of the developments as set out in the respective s106 agreements.
v. The Chestnuts site is managed as part of the Bullbrook Countryside Corridor Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG). This provides an alternative place for recreation away from the Thames Basin Heaths Special Protection Area. There is insufficient funding available from SANG contributions to complete these comprehensive works to the level they are required, which is why s106 funding is the only viable option.
Wards Affected: Warfield Harvest Ride;
Financial Impact: No financial impact to the Council.
Subject to Urgent Proceedings: No
Making Representations: In writing to the Executive Director: Place Planning and Regeneration.
Other reasons / organisations consulted
Correspondence via email.
A Covid 19 telephone survey of residents
Contact: Stephen Chown, Head of Natural Estates Email: email@example.com Tel: 01344 351226.
Publication date: 13/10/2021
Date of decision: 13/10/2021
Effective from: 21/10/2021