By Tristan Harris Thursday 24 October 2013 Updated: 25/10 15:02
A CAMPAIGN has been launched in a bid to get cash generated from housing developments across Bromsgrove to be ploughed back into the communities affected by them.
The Hagley Residents Action Group (HRAG) is urging Bromsgrove District Council to pass on cash from New Homes Bonuses to the individual areas where the properties are built so it can be used to pay for local facilities.
Peter Rowbottom, spokesperson for HRAG, said: "This money would be for communities facing large-scale development to cope with resultant changes and disruption and it would go a long way to helping reduce the financial burden being placed on many villages and rural areas that are effectively being upgraded to towns without the full infrastructure required."
Ideas for the cash to be spent on include toddler, children and youth groups, community centres and associations, leisure funding and sports clubs, community helplines and parish councils.
The group has set up an epetition which it wants residents and anyone who works or uses community facilities in Bromsgrove district to sign.
If the document amasses 1,250 signatures, the council will be obliged to hold an open public debate on the issue at a full council meeting.
The group claims from the Hagley developments, the 175 Cala Homes will result in Bromsgrove District Council receiving more than £1.3million from Central Government over the next six years and the 70-home Strathearn development will net another £500,000.
Other pending developments in Barnt Green, Catshill, Wythall and at Norton Farm, could net similar gains.
"It is only fair the money is put back into affected communities.
"This was the original stated intention of the New Homes Bonus scheme by the Housing Minister when it was initially launched in 2010," said Mr Rowbottom.
He added the Housing Minister at the time made it clear he expected councils to publicly consult affected communities, which Bromsgrove District had not done. Although, he accepted, that consultation was not legally enforceable.
And he said other councils, such as Wychavon District, allocated up to 40 per cent to be put back into community schemes and projects that were directly impacted on by the building of new homes.
But Bromsgrove District Council leader, Coun Roger Hollingworth, said: "Mr Pickles says the new homes bonus was to encourage housebuilding and the money was to be used for economic development, which is what it is being used for.
"Houses are being built all over the district and the money from them all is being used for the benefit of all.
"I will wait and see how many signatures they collect.”
Anyone wanting to sign the epetition can log onto www.newhomes.epetitions.net
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