Crow opinion - Meeting an obligation

PUBLISHED: 19:40 16 April 2008 | UPDATED: 15:44 11 May 2010

THERE is nothing wrong with our planning system where developers have to meet the costs of a community project. It is now part of the planning process - and, of course, it is the decision of a local authority to decide which project can benefit. Locally,

THERE is nothing wrong with our planning system where developers have to meet the costs of a community project.

It is now part of the planning process - and, of course, it is the decision of a local authority to decide which project can benefit.

Locally, developers have given thousands of pounds to various projects, which would otherwise have to be met at the expense of Council Tax.

The obvious alternative is that the work was not done at all.

Such "deals" may be criticised, but it is one way to ensure that there are improvements in our community.

And it has to be said that it does not play a part in deciding the outcome of a planning application.

But there are times such as this week when such a "deal" creates a profoundly unsatisfactory result.

This is the case on the Templars Gate development in Royston, where residents have been waiting almost 10 years to see the completion of work on a play space.

It is surely not too much to ask that the work is now carried out - or that there needs to be a complete change to the system where developers will have to pay a penalty for not meeting such obligations.

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