Wilmslow set to receive £173,000 from New Homes Bonus for community projects


Cheshire East Council has agreed to share a £2m New Homes Bonus between communities across the borough.

The New Homes Bonus is a grant paid by central government to local councils to reflect and incentivise housing growth in their areas. It is based on the amount of extra Council Tax revenue raised for new-build homes, conversions and long-term empty homes brought back into use.

The Council has decided to group the parishes according to the Area Highway Groups and allocate £50,000 to each of the seven areas.

A balance of £2m will then be allocated on the basis of the increase in number of house completions between 2011 and 2017.

As a result Wilmslow is set to receive £173,462 with the local ward councillors deciding how the pot of money is spent and what the community priorities are.

Groups will be able to bid for a share of the New Homes Bonus Community Fund for community projects such as sport schemes; transport schemes; enhanced library provision; allotments or orchards; energy schemes or youth schemes. Other examples of suitable projects include small scale flood protection schemes; homelessness prevention projects; small parks improvements and road safety improvements.

There is an expectation that projects will make a visible impact in the local community so for this reason the Council has set a minimum allocation per project of £10,000.

Speaking at the Corporate Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting on Thursday, 5th April, Jan Willis, Interim Executive Director of Corporate Services, explained that all bids must clearly demonstrate how they will support the Council's strategic outcomes and how they will enhance service delivery and provide tangible benefits for the local community.

It was also proposed that funds must be spent by the end of the 2019-20 financial year, with any unspent funds clawed back and reallocated, but some members of the scrutiny committee requested this was changed as they felt it was unrealistic to expect all projects at a parish level, many of which would be carried out by community organisations, to be completed within two years.

A council task group is drawing up a final design for the New Homes Bonus Community Fund and a report is expected to go before the council's cabinet in June. Allocations will be apportioned in line with the recognised highways areas of Congleton, Crewe, Knutsford, Macclesfield, Nantwich, Poynton and Wilmslow.

All bids would be scored for their community value, volunteering, outcomes and value for money. Bids are not required until the scheme is formally launched in the summer and more information will be published nearer the time.

Councillor Paul Bates, cabinet member for finance and communication, said: "The New Homes Bonus Community Fund is designed to ensure that all parts of the borough benefit from the significant housing growth we have seen in recent years.

"We will be inviting communities, with the help of elected ward members, to engage with how services are delivered at a local level and put forward their ideas for how they would like to see the money spent.

"This funding is not in any way connected with local developer contributions for highways schemes or other infrastructure needs.

"There is a national and local demand for new homes and the New Homes Bonus Scheme is an incentive to councils and communities to help meet that demand."

More than 5,600 homes have been built in Cheshire East since 2011 and the funding allocations will be weighted to reflect those areas of the borough where large scale house building has taken place.

Cheshire East Council, New Homes Bonus


Here's what readers have had to say so far. Why not add your thoughts below.

Gillian Slater
Tuesday 10th April 2018 at 6:49 pm
Sorry pot holes repairs please for a start
Martin Kitchin
Tuesday 10th April 2018 at 8:32 pm
Second , how about community recreation & leisure for Colshaw : Summerfields?

But of course, Cheshire East planning say that what's already there on Summerfields Village is "surplus to requirenents" and are advocating it go under the bulldozer . . .
Oliver Romain
Tuesday 10th April 2018 at 10:12 pm
Decent play equipment for the Carrs. Something for older children it’s too focused on pre-school and toddlers.
Jon Williams
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 10:15 am
Buy some green belt land to stop houses being built on it !
Fiona Doorbar
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 11:46 am
I think the Carr’s is the best park for all ages....they have the small skate/scooter park and all the new exercise equipment as well as tennis and the youngsters park was overhauled not too many years ago I think. Tennis courts too and now a cafe. Not sure how it can be improved tbh.
Marc Staples
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 3:18 pm
They could of course put it towards the legal fees that will inevitably be incurred by this
new investigation into Cllr Murray !!
Gillian Slater
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 7:31 pm
I agree Fiona Doorbar
Terry Roeves
Wednesday 11th April 2018 at 9:54 pm
A pelican crossing on Altrincham Rd by Kings Rd, so Residents on that side of the road can safely cross to Lindow Common during rush hour.
Can take some 20 mins. No joy so far from CEC, who do recognise that their is a problem, but are short of cash.
Perhaps the suspended staff could chip in. Who is more important?
Manuel Golding
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 12:15 pm
The New Homes Bonus? Maybe a little background as to how "we" got to this point and before you all go on about your pet requirements.

Up to late last year the NHB was locked away in a secure place by CEC. And it would have remained there and none of us or you readers wishing pet projects to be met but for Residents of Wilmslow's Councillor Mark Goldsmith. It was Mark who first brought this hidden largess to RoWs attention and then to the Leader of CEC at a meeting we had back in October. Ro put it bluntly, we asked her "Where is Wilmslow's money?" We were promised she would look into it and months later at our next meeting she told us they will come up with a formula for distributing NHB money across the borough.

However, by Mark's calculations, based on the NHB formulae, Wilmslow should be in receipt of somewhere around £2million. But, we were told, "some" of that money had slipped into the council's general budget!

The result thus far is that Wilmslow will receive a paltry £173,462.

But if it wasn't for RoW researching and asking, especially Cllr Mark Goldsmith, we nor any other part of the borough would be getting anything from this scheme.

Which proves the value of having even more Residents of Wilmslow councillors on both Cheshire East and Wilmslow Town councils. It is that independent mind and voice that makes such a difference,
Pete Taylor
Thursday 12th April 2018 at 12:34 pm
Well done to Mark Goldsmith and RoW.
Best part of two million pounds slipped away- how careless.

Add the nearly two million cost of Lyme Green, the several million given to Alderley Park and now:

Two million given to the National Trust to build a visitor centre at Tatton Park!

Easy come, easy go.
Helen Battilana
Friday 13th April 2018 at 10:08 am
I would support Terry Roeves' suggestion of a pelican crossing near Kings Rd - a very difficult crossing point.