Monday, 23 March 2009 12:43

Racecourse Development

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No section 106 "agreement"

The board of the WST has learned that the Racecourse development will not, unlike previous applications, be the subject of a Section 106 agreement. Previous planning applications have been subject to a Section 106 agreement and we have been encouraged to believe that this development would be protected by similar safeguards.

Mr Retout, in particular, has often cited the imposition of a 106 agreement as a factor which would give Wrexham Supporters a degree of comfort.

In an interview with the Daily Post he stated;

He said strict planning conditions (Section 106) imposed by the local authority meant any profit from the development must in the councils words, ‹Å“benefit the club in its necessity to build a new Kop stand and clear existing debts‹Å“.

He went on to say:

I fully understand where the Trust is coming from. But the purpose of the Section 106 is precisely to prevent the possibility of anyone coming in to asset strip the club. And I can assure the Trust that everything is going to be transparently clear when the detailed planning application goes in.

Conditions contained in the previous Section 106 agreement included the following.

Condition 22

The reserved matters application shall provide full details of how the enabling development hereby permitted will facilitate the development of the new stand and contribute towards the future prosperity of the Wrexham Football Club.

Condition 23

No development shall commence until a statement demonstrating the financial viability of the scheme has been submitted to and approved in writing by the Local Planning Authority. If the Local Planning Authority concludes that the statement demonstrates that the financial viability exceeds that required to assure the future of the Football Club then the development shall make provision for affordable housing ,commuted car parking payments, school contributions, and contribution in lieu of public open space in accordance with Council adopted policy guidance.
The Local Planning Authority imposed these conditions for one reason only:

To ensure that financial return from this development is invested into the football club.

Chief Planning Officer

Instead of a 106 agreement the new proposal will have a unilateral undertaking attached to it. Although this is a form of Section 106 it falls short of the protection offered by an agreement.

A unilateral undertaking is a planning obligation that is proposed by the developer in support of their application and is drafted by their solicitors.

The board of the WST believes that a Section 106 agreement is preferable to a unilateral undertaking for the following reasons:

1) it provides clarity and transparency, which is in the interests of everyone who cares for Wrexham Football Club.

2) the opportunity or risk of future disputes is removed or reduced if everyone is in agreement.

The board will meet this week to discuss this development.