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Developer faces injunction for non-payment

PUBLISHED: 17:05 23 April 2010 | UPDATED: 09:58 02 July 2010

The new community facility in Costessey

The new community facility in Costessey

Sam Emanuel

A housing developer which owes almost half a million pounds towards the building of a new community centre has been threatened with an injunction that could stop any further development on its site until it pays up.

A housing developer which owes almost half a million pounds towards the building of a new community centre has been threatened with an injunction that could stop any further development on its site until it pays up.

Taylor Wimpey is responsible for £470,000 of the £1.5m cost of the Costessey Community Centre, which has just been completed on Longwater Lane Recreation Ground by Costessey Parish Council.

The developer was supposed to pay the money on the occupation of 200 homes at the Lodge Farm site in Costessey, but although this occupation happened before Christmas and Taylor Wimpey has repeatedly assured the parish council that they will soon receive a cheque, the money is still nowhere to be seen.

The money transfer was part of a section 106 agreement - a legally binding agreement where the developer has to meet certain obligations to the community in order to be granted planning permission.

South Norfolk District Council's solicitor, Stuart Shortman, has now emailed the Taylor Wimpey, saying: “The Parish Council and the District Council are very concerned at the continued delay on the part of the developers in breach of the s106 agreement.

“It is likely that the officers will be asked to prepare a public report for next month's meeting of the Planning Committee concerning this very serious breach, resulting in an application for an injunction being authorised to halt all development on this estate until the breaches are remedied.”

Tim East, county, district, and parish councillor for Costessey, said: “This money is owed to us and if we don't take this almost draconian action, the developers will regard the district planning authority as a soft touch. The money was owed to us in December, and now, five months on, we have still not received it, which is totally unacceptable.

“Things started moving a lot faster on Queen's Hills once we threatened to apply for an injunction against the developers, and we hope this will have similar results.”

A Taylor Wimpey spokesman said: “It has taken us longer than we would have preferred to arrange this substantial payment, and we apologise for any inconvenience this delay has caused the local community.

“However, the council has confirmed to us the final figure it requires, and we have raised a cheque for this amount, which will it will receive on Monday.

“We were not aware that South Norfolk District Council was considering applying for an injunction to stop our development of the Lodge Farm site, but we can reassure all parties that this is an unnecessary course of action.”

Do you have a story for the Evening News? Call Sam Emanuel on 01603 772438 or email sam.emanuel@archant.co.uk.

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