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Norfolk second home tax plans upheld

PUBLISHED: 11:00 20 January 2010 | UPDATED: 07:35 02 July 2010

Daniel Cox, county council leader.

Daniel Cox, county council leader.

Sarah Hall

Proposals which would see cash from council tax on second homes diverted from building affordable homes into improving Norfolk's infrastructure have been upheld, despite angry opposition.

Proposals which would see cash from council tax on second homes diverted from building affordable homes into improving Norfolk's infrastructure have been upheld, despite angry opposition.

Norfolk County Council's cabinet agreed earlier this month to create the Norfolk Infrastructure Fund, using a share of money raised from council tax on second homes currently ring fenced for the county council to spend on affordable housing projects in consultation with the relevant district councils.

The cabinet says it needs to take 25pc of the total £3.3m in that second home council pot -£829,000 - to prepare Norfolk's infrastructure for the significant housing growth planned in the county in the next 20 years.

But the move has sparked anger among some parishes and councillors, who say the money should stay in areas which have high numbers of second homes.

Liberal Democrat county councillors James Joyce and Mervyn Scutter called the item in for discussion at yesterday's meeting of the county council's cabinet scrutiny committee.

Mr Scutter said: “The setting up of an infrastructure fund I do not have a problem with. It's a good idea and there are many needs for that fund.

“The main concern we have is the way that will be funded, in the use of second homes council tax. That will have a major impact in the districts, and from what I read in the papers there has been little or no consultation with those districts in terms of the impact on them.”

But Daniel Cox, Conservative leader of the county council, said he had written to district council leaders. He said: “If district leaders had raised issues I would have brought that to cabinet or withdrawn the report.”

The committee agreed to uphold the cabinet's decision, with 10 votes for and four votes against.

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