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South Oxfordshire council makes changes to infrastructure spending

South Oxfordshire District Council has made changes to its strategy for infrastructure funding in a move to release further funds for larger community projects across the district.

The changes to the way the council spends Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) funds will mean that money secured from housing developments in the district will be released for projects that make a significant difference to communities and help fulfil the strategies outlined in the council’s corporate plan.

The council reviewed the process to allocate CIL funds to find ways to release funds to make better use of them and maximise the benefits to the local communities. The changes agreed by the cabinet now means that funds could also potentially be used across the district boundaries in the Didcot garden town area to pay for new infrastructure.

The new criteria will also enable CIL and Section 106 agreements to be used in combination to support projects. CIL monies can now also be combined to help introduce larger projects in one area or repair or replace a facility if needed.

Cllr Robin Bennett, South Oxfordshire Cabinet Member for Development and Regeneration said:  “Whilst we’ve raised and spent a lot of money already to make sure communities have the facilities they need, we’ve identified better ways to maximise the positive contribution this cash can make, not just towards roads and buildings, but also potentially supporting access to nature, cycle lanes and electric charging points. 

“The changes to our spending strategy will make funds more widely available for projects that will make a significant difference, speeding up delivery and enabling us to work more closely with our towns and parishes to provide for residents’ future needs.”

South Oxfordshire and Vale of White Horse District Councils have jointly secured £53,030,143 for local infrastructure since April 2016 from new housing development in the districts.  

Vale of White Horse District Council is also reviewing its spending strategy on infrastructure at its cabinet meeting on 18 December.