Allendale and Ovingham in Northumberland miss out on funding worth tens of thousands due to planning delays
Two villages have missed out on thousands of pounds in funding due to delays in the planning system.
Applications to build nine new homes north of Pieper Road in Ovingham and north of Lonkley Lodge in Allendale in Northumberland had previously been approved by the county council' s Tynedale Local Area Committee (TLAC).
However, the signing of Section 106 agreements in both cases was delayed, during which time the new Northumberland Local Plan, which sets planning rules for the entire county, came into force.
Councillors for the two wards were assured the money would be found - but not from these particular developments.
The money had been earmarked for improvements to play equipment in the villages, but changes to the Section 106 rules under the council's new plan mean developers only need to make contributions after 10 or more homes have been built - meaning both now miss out.
Under the previously approved plans, Ovingham was set to receive £17,408 towards sports and play provision, while Allendale was in line for £17,350 for play and informal open space and £9,850 to outdoor sport.
In Ovingham's case, a Section 106 agreement was not signed due to delays at the county council, while in Allendale it was because "the ownership of the site had not been finalised and because of delays in the land registry".
Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows a local planning authority to enter into a legally-binding agreement or planning obligation with a landowner as part of the granting of planning permission, often to provide funding for highways or leisure projects as well as affordable housing.
In Ovingham, the developer is still required to build 100% affordable homes - but Allendale will not receive any form of bonus under Section 106.
Speaking at the meeting, South Tynedale councillor Colin Horncastle, who represents Allendale, said: "This is the last bit of land in Allendale that is easy to build affordable housing on. It is a great shame that the original owner of the land - the Church - sold it for maximum profit.
"How remarkable that it didn't generate any affordable housing. There are lots of sporting facilities in Allendale, some of which are getting very old, and this would have been perfect to make some money for those.
"What a massive loss this is. It is going to generate absolutely nothing for Allendale and the people of Allendale are very unhappy about this."
Coun Holly Waddell, who represents the Bywell ward that includes Ovingham, asked if there was any way for the money to be recovered for the community.
The council's senior planning manager, Elizabeth Sinamon, explained that under the new plan, similar agreements would be delivered across the county, meaning other areas would not miss out and told members the new policy was better for the county than the one it had replaced.
Furthermore, money from section 106 agreements elsewhere in the county, such as in the south east, would also be available to communities like Ovingham and Allendale. However, Coun Waddell was told that the money "would not come from this particular site".
Allendale parish councillor Mike Kirk added: "Allendale Parish Council is deeply concerned about the loss of the section 106 money. I look forward to this wonderful bounty coming out of Blyth and Cramlington."
Despite the concerns, both applications were approved by the committee.