SENIOR councillors have recommended the approval of a New Homes Bonus (NHB) scheme but are yet to announce the final figure being passed on to communities.

Last April angry Hagley residents handed a petition to Bromsgrove District Council urging them to pass this money on to communities, like the village, that have been affected by housing development.

This followed a previous decision by councillors to place money from the scheme into a central pot.

The council, which receives £1,455 for each home built plus extra money for each affordable one, has received £1.3million since the NHB scheme was introduced but finance portfolio holder, Councillor Mike Webb, said cash had previously been used to avoid cuts to frontline services.

A cross party working group was established, which has gone on to have meetings discussing the issue and a way forward.

At a lively meeting in earlier December, a draft scheme of £84,000 earmarked for communities in 2015/16 from funds, was branded an insult by Hagley Action Group.

This figure is equal to 20 per cent of the £420,152 paid to the authority under the NHB scheme.

At the latest meeting of the cabinet, held on January 7, it was expected the final figure percentage and amount of NHB money being recommended to full council, would be approved.

Cllr Webb suggested they recommended the approval of the allocation scheme that would set out how grants can be applied for, as long as the business case shows evidence an area has been affected by housing growth.

Cllr Webb said he understood the public's need for the scheme to be put in writing, and he wanted to assure people the scheme would be happening.

Cllr Webb then suggested a decision on the percentage and amount of money to be allocated to the scheme be postponed until the next cabinet meeting, in February, when members would have more financial information.

He stressed it would not slow the process down.

Councillor Dale Booth supported this suggestion, adding it would be a very prudent move.

The resolution was passed following a vote.

Speaking after the meeting, lead petitioner Peter Rowbottom said: "I welcome cabinet recommending to council the approval of a New Homes Bonus scheme, as it will ensure in future years at least a percentage will be passed on to communities affected by new housing.

"However, it is regretful this council failed to approve such a scheme some four years ago when the scheme was first introduced by central government.

"I expect cabinet to fully take into account the public feedback, and for them to recommend to council a far higher amount."