Communities are in line to share an extra £63,000 following a U-turn from ruling Broadland Conservatives.

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Broadland District Council will receive £313,655 in 2013/14 under the government’s new homes bonus project (NHB), in which local authorities receive money for every new house built or for bringing empty properties back into use.

The Tory cabinet had proposed giving around £93,000, or a 70/30 split, to parish and town councils which accepted new development.

In the previous two years, the council has received around £445,000 and shared it 50/50 to allow communities to develop facilities, including play equipment.

And the Tory cabinet yesterday accepted to continue sharing the money 50/50 in 2013/14 following a recommendation from the council’s overview and scrutiny committee.

Bill Couzens, Labour councillor for Sprowston Central, told the cabinet it would be “perverse” not to split the money equally as the evidence suggested the parishes had made better use of their share.

Broadland placed its £222,000 in a housing incentive fund, designed to offer interest free loans to builders to kick-start projects. But no bids have been made to this fund.

Paul Carrick, portfolio holder for finance, agreed the money had been well spent by parishes and he was in favour of a 50/50 arrangement continuing from April. The NHB agreement will be reviewed in 12 months.

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