£2.5m still in council coffers

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East Dunbartonshire Council has almost £2.5 million it has yet to invest in community projects.

Planning laws allow the council to require property developers donate towards the community as a condition of granting planning applications, and this money is used for the benefit of local people.

Council boss Thomas Glen said: “The council allocates all money received through the Town and Country Planning (Scotland) Act 1997, and ensures all funds are utilised prior to deadline or that extensions are applied for in the event a deadline will not be met. All developer contributions are held in a discreet budget line and are allocated as and when required.”

A Freedom of Information request shows that since 2017 the council has collected £2.9m in this way, of which £2.4m is yet to be allocated.

Of the money which has been spent, the council used £463,000 to construct a relief road in Bishopbriggs. This money was obtained when the council approved the development of 196 houses in the town. It also put £240 towards a playspace in Cloan Crescent, Bishopbriggs.

Of the unspent contributions, the largest is £477,000 collected in connection with the Woodilee residential and business development in Lenzie. The developers made an additional £283,000 as compensation for the loss of land which had been allocated as cemetery space.

The council also received a  £967,000 payment from CALA Land Investments when it approved the Kilmardinny Masterplan at Bearsden – with 135 homes created on the former bus station site. This is to be invested in the Allander Sports Centre.