William Eichler 17 May 2019

Council criticised for ‘sitting on’ £2.65m of developer contributions

Council criticised for ‘sitting on’ £2.65m of developer contributions  image

City of Edinburgh Council has been criticised for ‘sitting on’ £2.65m worth of contributions from the backers of large construction projects.

Developers are required to pay councils to help fund infrastructure improvements. These are known as section 75 agreement payments.

An internal audit report has questioned City of Edinburgh Council’s planning and finance departments handling of these contributions.

It found that the city council currently has £2.65m worth of section 75 payments in its account, £790,000 of which is more than 10 years old.

Responding to the report, planning convener Cllr Neil Gardiner said there had been ‘considerable progress’ in managing these contributions in recent years.

In March 2014 the council had £7,377,870 in there account and since then a further £67m of contributions have been collected. The £2.65m is what remains of this pot.

‘We’ve made considerable progress since the audit was carried out but a further phase of work is now required,’ said Cllr Gardiner.

‘Improvements have been made to the coordination of developer contributions for infrastructure projects that are required through the Local Development Plan action programme.’

‘It’s important that local communities have confidence in how we are using developer contributions and we’ll be publishing this information on an annual basis now,’ he added.

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