Council insists developer honours agreed education payments

Bolton Council is insisting that Jones Homes, which has built 129 houses in the area, pays the hundreds of thousands of promised education money

The Bolton News has reported that housing developer which promised to contribute thousands towards education in the local area has attempted to wriggle out of the deal, and promptly been told to pay up.

Jones Homes was granted permission to build 129 new homes on the former Bolton Community College Campus site in Horwich, provided it paid over £970,000 to Bolton Council – the majority of which was earmarked for funding education in the borough.

However, the scheme has proven to not be as profitable as expected, and Jones Homes has submitted a new proposal stating it will only fund the £25,000 traffic management school it had also agreed to. It has said it will also offer 13% affordable housing, while national planning policy guidance suggests 20% is the accepted profit level.

Bolton Council’s planning committee has vowed to make the company pay up, as it has big plans for the future of education in the area.

Horwich North East councillor, Joyce Kellett, said: “I would not support this [new proposal] at all. Developers, when they start a development, will put things forward of what they will give us to help the area in question.

“There are too many coming back now saying they can’t do it.

“The fact is these [homes] are selling excellently, there are actually people living in them now, they’re very glamorous.

“I believe they should still stick to the original agreement.”

Her comments were echoed by fellow Labour committee member, Cllr Nick Peel.

He said: “I agree, it absolutely stinks that this happens. They are basically throwing £900,000 of essential 106 agreement money for education required of them.”

He added that allowing Jones Homes to back out of section 106 commitments could lead to problems in the council’s education and public health budgets.

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Councillors agreed that they may not receive the full payment originally agreed, but the onus is now on Jones Homes to come up with an acceptable offer.

The developer has no right of appeal over the refusal.

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