Dorset Council’s cabinet says that money given by The Maltings estate developer Persimmon for community and infrastructure projects doesn’t necessarily have to be spent on the estate and some of it can be used for town projects.
Cllr David Walsh was responding to a letter from Karen Tippins questioning the Town Council’s use of section 106 money on the football club’s artificial pitch project.
Dorset Council will soon decide which body will be awarded land in the Mampitts Square area and around a £600,000 contribution from Persimmon. Shaftesbury Town Council wants this money and the open space for community use. So does a Maltings-based community company which includes town councillor Peter Yeo on its board.
Dorset Council’s Cabinet meeting confirmed that organisations like Cllr Yeo’s could potentially receive the land and the funding from Dorset Council. But section 106 cash would more usually be granted to town or parish councils because they have recognised systems of governance in place.
Dorset Council has set out new rules for scoring applications which they say will be useful in competitive bids like this. The rules suggest that any local applicant group will need to have the support of the Town Council. If it doesn’t, it will need to explain why.