This report provides an update on the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL) and to seek views from Scrutiny Board in respect of the draft allocations for funding for onward reporting to the Cabinet Member for Communities and Leisure.
[Councillor P Hogarth MBE having taken the Chair for the duration of this item]
In attendance: Gary Palmer (Solihull MBC – Group Manager Policy & Engagement); Emma Tinsley-Evans (Solihull MBC – Team Leader Planning Policy); and Katie Johnson (Solihull MBC - Senior/Development Officer - Policy & Delivery).
The Board considered a detailed report and presentation which provided an overview and update on the Neighbourhood Community Infrastructure Levy (NCIL). The views of the Board was sought in respect of the draft allocations for funding with recommendations being made to the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities & Leisure later in this month.
In addition to the report, an update note was circulated that increased the number of bids recommended for approval and funding.
Officers reported that 21 bids had been received and, following their assessment against the agreed scoring matrix (and based on the funding available in each Ward), it was proposed that 14 bids be now recommended for funding approval. A total of £402,404 of NCIL funding was available. The revised report proposed that a total of £242,437 be recommended for allocation this year with £159,967 ‘rolling over’ for future bidding in 2023/24.
Councillor S Gethen attended the meeting and spoke in support of the proposed allocation of funding to the Malvern Park play area improvements.
Having considered the report, the Board asked the following questions and/or made the following observations:
· Cllr J O’Nyons welcomed the sentiments contained within the deputation and the proposed allocation of funding to the Malvern Park play area improvements.
· Cllr A Feeney highlighted Castle Bromwich Ward and the limitations on CIL funding in parished areas of the Borough. Cllr Feeney asked how might applications be considered for applications that originated from within a ward, but outside of a parish boundary (e.g. such as a theoretical application relating to Lanchester Park). Officers advised that CIL funding would be available via the normal application process for such a location. Officers did, however, highlight that as little development took place in Castle Bromwich, the CIL funding pot was slow to accumulate and become available. As an alternative, other community funding possibilities could be explored on a case by case basis in areas of the Borough where the generation of CIL funds was very limited.
· Cllr M Carthew welcomed all of the proposed allocations and particularly the revised report that recommended funding to Langley Primary School. Cllr Carthew also sought further detail on bidding thresholds and why no bids featured in 2022/23 in the Lyndon and Elmdon Wards. Officers advised that individual ward CIL funds needed to reach in excess of £10k before applications for CIL funding were open.
· Cllr P Hogarth MBE stated that it was unfortunate that in the Silhill Ward, £64,760 was unallocated for 2022/23 as no bidding applications had been submitted. Officers confirmed that this sum would now roll forward to 2023/24.
That, the Board UNANIMOUSLY makes the following RECOMMENDATIONS to the Cabinet Portfolio Holder for Communities & Leisure:
That, subject to the observations and comments recorded in the preamble above, the Board:
(i) Notes the current position for allocating NCIL funds in 2022/23;
(ii) Supports the proposed 14 bid allocations for 2022/23 as detailed within the revised report (a total of £242,437); and
(iii) Supports the sum of £159,967 rolling-over to the 2023/24 bidding year.