Council cannot say exactly what it has spent £10m on

Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters
Aberdeenshire Council's Woodhill House headquarters

Aberdeenshire Council has admitted that it cannot specify what the it has spent £10m acquired through Developer Obligation on.

A Freedom of Information request found that over the last five years, the local authority received almost £15m (£14,719,539) and have spent just over £10m (£10,391,201), but are unable to specify on what.

Freedom of Information coordinator Clark Simpson said: “At present, our reporting system is unable to produce a report covering the breakdown of spend.

“But this is something which we are looking to address as part of our continued improvement exercise in this area.”

It is not yet known what will happen with the almost £5m that the council have yet to spent, but the Aberdeenshire Council website states that they are “intended to ensure that developers address any impacts on infrastructure created by the development, but cannot resolve existing deficiencies”.

Developers have the right to claim back the money they had to pay if not used, normally within five years.

In the past five years, £416,776 has been returned.

Mr Simpson added: “There are a number of reason why a planning authority may require to take this step and in the main our returns have occurred as a result of the developer not going ahead at all with the development as planned and this effecting the level of contribution or delays with the project allocated funding meaning that the agreed spending timescale cannot be met.

“The level of any contributions are assessed on a case to case basis and in line with the methodology, policy and criteria set out in the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan and the Scottish Government Circular: Planning Obligation and Good Neighbour Agreements”.