Mark Whitehead 16 September 2015

Council takes £1.88m loss after planning error

A county council has agreed to accept a loss of nearly £2m on a housing deal after an administrative mistake with the planning application.

Rutland County Council originally agreed to pay developers Larkfleet Homes under the usual terms of an ‘S106’ arrangement under the Town and Country Planning Act.

The money is used to help pay for infrastructure and services when building projects are given the go-ahead.

But a mistake by officers over an amendment to the deal involving a 1,000-home development meant it could have been declared ‘void’ and the company could have got away with paying nothing, according to a council spokesperson.

However Larkfield agreed to a figure of £4.56m, with a loss to the council of £1.88m on the original application.

A council spokesperson said the shortfall meant it ‘may need to reprioritise some expenditure or deliver projects with a reduced scope.’

However, if the council did have to fill the gap it would be done through borrowing and the use of existing cash reserves and not through council tax.

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