London-based public law specialist, Sharpe Pritchard, has advised on the completed section 106 (s106) agreement relating to the proposed SnOasis development near Stowmarket, which promises to bring a range of transport improvements to the local area.
Brian Hurwitz and Andrew Swaffer in the Planning team at Sharpe Pritchard acted for Suffolk County Council (SCC) in the negotiations with the developers and the drafting of the agreement, which also involved Mid-Suffolk District Council (MSDC).
While MSDC was the lead planning authority, SCC is responsible for enforcing the highways and transport obligations in the agreement.
The SnOasis development in Great Blakenham will include a ski slope, ice rinks and a bobsleigh run. The proposal has been in development for the last 16 years, with the Sharpe Pritchard team having been instructed by SCC on the current scheme for the last two years.
Sharpe Pritchard’s team, led by Partner, Brian together with Andrew, negotiated provisions for shuttle and employee bus services, a new pedestrian footbridge at Stowmarket Railway Station, as well as a public access contribution of £664,170 and a payment of £200,000 for strategic highway improvements.
The shuttle bus and footbridge commitments also provide step-in rights to SCC if the owner defaults, secured by bonds or cash deposits of £550,000each and a security payment to cover SCC’s full costs of carrying out the work.
Brian Hurwitz said: “As this is a major infrastructure project, it is essential that the transport links are sustainable and robust.
“A comprehensive s106 agreement, which is sensitive to the needs of the local communities living near to a major development, will have a substantial effect upon the long-term success of that development for everyone from the developer to its employees and local people.
“I am pleased that we have been able to assist SCC is securing these vital commitments, which will provide important benefits to local people.”
SCC were delighted with the outcome saying: “I am most appreciative of your fantastic work on this complicated legal agreement. A very challenging set of circumstances – from which we came out very successfully”
Final approval for the SnOasis development was granted by MSDC’s chief planning offices using emergency delegated powers within the planning committee unable to meet during the Coronavirus outbreak.
The Planning team at Sharpe Pritchard regularly negotiates s106 agreements in respect of some of the UK’s largest developments on behalf of local planning authorities.