Police ask for £2m to help with increase in housing

First published in News

POLICE have requested almost £2 million from Oxfordshire councils to help officers manage the impact of new housing.

Figures released under the Freedom of Information Act show Thames Valley Police asked for £1,855,405 since 2010.

The cash can be given to the force for officers as a condition of councils giving developers planning permission.

Of the 39 requests since 2008, 11 – worth £198,698 – have been approved with the remainder pending or refused.

The “section 106” payments are seen as a key way police can deal with an increase in housing. Cash can also be given to schools and the NHS to manage the impact of extra homes.

But the amount of cash to be handed over is often fought over between councils and developers.

The biggest amount secured by the force was £101,746 for the redevelopment of the Fairmile Hospital, Cholsey, for 353 homes.

It also got £53,169 for the redevelopment of cement works in Chinnor for 178 homes and a care home. Its biggest outstanding request is £197,455 for a plan for 1,000 homes in Downs Road, Witney.

Despite the extra cash, the force is bidding to cut 120 of its 4,430 officers by 2015 to help save £55m.

A spokesman said: “Thames Valley Police has sought to secure appropriate developer contributions towards the provision of new police infrastructure. “This is to mitigate against the impact that proposed development will have upon the ability of the police to maintain an appropriate and necessary level of policing in the area.”

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