A demand for greater scrutiny has been made after it was revealed more than £250,000 worth of unspent or uncollected planning payments are owed to Glenrothes.
Councillors expressed surprise at this month’s area committee when a report by Mary Stewart, major business and customer service, highlighted £251,150 of specific payments relating to planning consents that were either sitting in suspended accounts or was still being pursued by the Council’s legal team.
Fife Council initiated a review of all the outstanding legal agreements in 2012 when it became apparent that the obligations had not been met on a two large housing sites.
With the review still continuing three years on, area committees from across the region have been advised of potential unspent funds.
The Glenrothes amount has £172,300 earmarked for education, £45,250 to be used for affordable housing, £20,000 for play parks and £13,500 for community facilities.
Councillor Altany Craik has called for the funds to be made available without delay.
Mr Craik, chairman of Glenrothes area committee, said the staff from the relevant departments need to be summoned to committee without delay to say how best to use the funding.
“The money sanctioned for education alone is a sizeable amount and we need to be told from those who will benefit from it, how best to use it,” Mr Craik told the Gazette.
“Some of these payments are time-scaled and if not spent in a certain period they can revert back to the developer so it’s imperative we act quickly.”
With an ongoing processes and upgraded computer systems, councillors will in future be informed twice yearly of available obligation payments relating to their ward.
Fife Council to continue efforts to retrieve £54k building obligation
Councillors have agrreed to continue pursuing a housing developer for £54,000 worth of building oblications owed to Fife Coucnil since 2010.
Rainbow Property Developments Ltd should have paid the agreed amount following the completion of 10 dwellings in Thornton, but no payment has ever been received, despite planners having written to the company demanding the money in May, 2013.
Councillors at last week’s central area planning committee decided against writing off the debt at this stage and also against issuing indidual claims for £5400 each from the current occupiers.
The matter of non recovery has also been refered to the scrutiny committee for investigation.