The Parish Council will hold an extraordinary meeting on 19 December 2019 at 19:30 in Babraham School Hall.
We invite all residents to attend our discussion on a proposed agreement between Sawston and Babraham on our shared boundary and financial contributions to the Parishes that might be delivered by new developments under Section 106, the “mechanism [of the Town and Country Planning Act] which make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms, that would not otherwise be acceptable” (source: Local Government Association).
The meeting has been called by the Chair, Stuart Laurie, to consider a motion proposed by three Councillors:
“We propose that Babraham Parish Council reviews and resolves to take any action on the distribution of S.106 funding deriving from H/1:c development, proposed as an outcome of the joint parish meeting held on 21st November 2019 at Sawston PC offices.”
the essence is to review possible financial arrangements in respect of developments between the two parishes.
Over the past few months, the Parish Council has been discussing the Parish boundary with Sawston Parish Council and Cambridgeshire County Council. The discussions have been prompted by new development locations in our Parish included in the Local Plan: H/1:b, to the north of Sawston Road, currently under development; and H/1:c, to the south of Sawston Road.
With any new development, there is a “mechanism which make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms, that would not otherwise be acceptable” called Section 106 (its location in the Town and Country Planning Act). The financial contributions are used to mitigate the impact of that development on the local community and infrastructure.
In the Planning process for H/1:b, we reached agreement with the Cambridgeshire County Council that Babraham Parish would be receive S.106 funds of £71,000 towards the cost of building the Village Hub and £20,000 towards arts spaces and facilities within the Hub.
As a Council, we have taken the view that incoming residents of both developments might seek practical activities in Sawston. This view might suggest that the boundary might be moved, with a result that the new developments could be ceded to Sawston Parish.
However, we also recognised the counter argument that the precept (the funds disbursed by the District Council for Parish works) payable to Babraham would be greater if the developments remained in Babraham Parish.
Finally, we have in the past argued that the new residents of H/1:b and c might vote themselves on the boundary and Parish and are aware that Sawston residents have a voice to express.
However, we recognise the practical nature of aspects of the postposed change and have sought terms that might meet needs of Babraham’s parishioners,
Following our most recent joint meeting in November, we have developed a Memorandum of Understanding for the distribution of S.106 contributions for H/1:c.
In this Memorandum, our Parish is granted a defined share of S.106 contributions for H/1:c and acknowledges the change to the boundary to place H/1:c dwellings in Sawston Parish.
The Council will discuss and resolve on action to take in respect of this Memorandum.
As noted in the Minutes of the Babraham Parish Council Meeting on 11 October, 2018, the Council voted unanimously to oppose the H/1:b development and to prepare a response to the Application.
You can read the Council response here; it was lodged on Tuesday 23 October, 2018