£20 million boost for Hackney s communities

If you live or work in Hackney you will be used to seeing building works around the borough, but you may not know that major development projects have provided benefits to the community worth around £20 million.

These benefits, which could range from a new playground to a tree planting scheme, are required by the Council s Planning department in the form of legally binding obligations known as Section 106 agreements.

Section 106 agreements are contributions from planning developers to offset negative impacts caused by construction and development. To date, projects worth £20million have taken place (or are about to) in Hackney.

Developers can contribute in three ways: In-kind contributions, for example, affordable housing, apprenticeships, local labour; Stipulated contributions such as road or environmental improvements in the vicinity of the development site, new child play facilities, or estate enhancements and Flexible contributions - such as educational and library improvements anywhere in the borough.

One of the biggest projects to receive Section 106 cash is a brand new library in Dalston due to open later this year - with £2.4million going towards a state-of-the-art facility which will be the biggest library build in Hackney for 100 years.

At the other end of the scale, £30,000 of Section 106 funding has been spent on the Ecohance project to enchance the natural wildlife habitats in sites including Daubney Green near Hackney Marshes and Millfields Recreation Ground in Clapton.

Other projects have included Day Care Therapy - the provision of Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy, Physiotherapy, Psychotherapy and Speech and Language Therapy to individuals and groups; Play Pathfinder, which saw 28 new or improved play areas in Hackney and On Site, which is a Hackney Recruitment Centre resource to help Hackney residents secure jobs.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration and the 2012 Olympic & Paralympic Games said: "Hackney has become the centre of attention for developers and their investments. From these investments and developments comes a growing population which needs social and community infrastructure to support it.

"New developments put a greater demand on our public services, schools, open spaces and transport. Section 106 contributions, along with the soon to be implemented Community Infrastructure Levy, go a long way to ensuring our local infrastructure continues to be able to meet the needs of our growing community."

For more information about Planning and Regeneration in Hackney, please visit the Council website: