Council to seek recovery of £54,000 fees?

Fife House

Fife House

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A decision whether to claim back more than £50,000 worth of unpaid planning agreements for a Thornton housing complex will be discussed by councillors today (Wednesday).

Planning permission for the two storey block of 10 flats was approved back in July 2007.

But a report to the central area planning committee by Mary Stewart, which has been approved by Jim Birrell, senior manager for planning, confirms a total of £54,000 (£39,000 for affordable housing provision and a £15,000 contribution towards local primary and secondary schools), detailed in a Section 75 agreement and due to be paid on completion of the building work, was never collected from Rainbow Developments Ltd.

The non-payment blunder only came to light because of recent work by the local authority to improve the monitoring of legal agreements.

Committee members are to explore the possibilities of recovering the sum, which should have been paid by the developer no later than July 2010, or to write off the debt.

The cost implications of pursuing payment through the courts or the recovery of £5,400 proportioned costs from each of the 10 current residents of the properties are also to be considered.

Fife Council invoiced Rainbow Developments Ltd. for the full amount in February 2013 but no payment was ever received.

In 2014, the Gazette revealed a similar Section 75 planning agreement to obtain twice-yearly proportion of road maintenance costs relating to Lomond Quarry had not been implemented by Fife Council planning enforcement officers.