“Councils made to give £225k BACK to developers – often because they didn’t spend it quickly enough”

Could it, has it happened here? Only a Freedom of Information request will tell …

“More than £225,000 of Section 106 money has been handed back by councils – mainly because they did not spend it in time.

The money, paid to councils by developers, is meant to go on road improvements, public transport and community facilities at new housing estates.

S106 contributions are often included as a way to overcome objections and as a condition of planning approval.

But on a number of occasions in the last five years the money was returned because Suffolk councils had not spent it within a five-year limit, Freedom of Information requests from this newspaper show.

While the sums are a fraction of total S106 contributions made, councillors said they showed deep failings within local government.

Andrew Stringer, leader of the Liberal Democrat, Green and Independent group at Suffolk County Council (SCC), said it was “perverse” that developer contributions were going unspent during a time of austerity.

Much of the returned funding was down to SCC’s failure to carry out highways projects. …”