Planning Obligation / Section 75 Agreement funding returned to a developer partially / fully unused

Roedd y cais yn rhannol lwyddiannus.

Dear Edinburgh Council

As part of planning permission sometimes a "Planning Obligation" or "Section 75 Agreement" is attached to it.

For the past 7 years, please document
- Any "Planning Obligation" or "Section 75 Agreement" funding that has been partially or fully returned to the developer
- Any funding that remains with the council unused (partially or fully)
- Funding that has not been collected by the council but the development is complete.

Information to include:-
- Original planning reference number
- A brief summary of the section 75 agreement
- The value of the Section 75 agreement. If funds were to provide money towards separate items please document them separately (e.g. car club, trams, traffic light upgrades etc)
- Why was the money was returned (partially or fully) to the developer, why was the money not used.

Thank you

Paul

City of Edinburgh Council

Mr Paul Fountain

Our ref: 19557

Dear Mr Fountain

Acknowledgement of Request

Subject: Planning Obligation / Section 75 Agreement funding returned to a developer partially / fully unused

Thank you for your request for information received on 02/07/2018. I can confirm that your request will be processed under the Freedom of Information (Scotland) Act 2002, Environmental Information Regulations (Scotland) 2004, or the INSPIRE (Scotland) Regulations 2009.

You will receive the information requested within 20 working days unless the Council does not hold the information, or there is a reason for it to be withheld. We will write to you in any event. This means we have until 30/07/2018 to respond to your request.

In some circumstances a fee may be payable and if that is the case we will let you know.

If you have any requirements regarding the format any information should be supplied in, e.g. the language to be used, audio, large print and so on, then please let me know.

If you have any queries or concerns, do not hesitate to get in touch. Please quote the reference number above in any future communications.

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal details. The disclosure log is available at the following link: http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175....

Further information about your rights and accessing information is available on our website at: www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Yours sincerely,

Information Governance Unit
Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340
[email address] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

Dear City of Edinburgh Council,

Please can I have an update on this FOI. It is long overdue.

https://www.whatdotheyknow.com/request/p...

Yours faithfully,

Paul Fountain

Information Rights Officer 4, City of Edinburgh Council

Morning Mr Fountain

Since receiving your e-mail below we have followed up with the Planning service again. The information they have provided requires further clarification and additional comment before it can be released. Please accept my apologies for the delay. We shall continue to chase the service for a full response.

Kind regards,
 
Iain.
 

Iain Burden | Information Rights Officer | Information Governance Unit | Strategy & Insight Division | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1 | Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | 0131 200 2340 | [email address] | www.edinburgh.gov.uk

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

Information Rights Officer 4, City of Edinburgh Council

1 Atodiad

Mr Paul Fountain

 

[1][FOI #495030 email]

 

Our ref: 19557

 

 

Dear Mr Fountain

 

Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations 2004 - Partial Release of
Information

 

Subject: Planning Obligation / Section 75 Agreement Developer Funding

 

Thank you for your request for information of 02/07/2018 where you asked
the following:

 

As part of planning permission sometimes a 'Planning Obligation' or
'Section 75 Agreement' is attached to it.

For the past 7 years, please document:

- Any 'Planning Obligation' or 'Section 75 Agreement' funding that has
been partially or fully returned to the developer.

- Any funding that remains with the council unused (partially or fully).

- Funding that has not been collected by the council but the development
is complete.

Information to include:

- Original planning reference number.

- A brief summary of the section 75 agreement.

- The value of the Section 75 agreement. If funds were to provide money
towards separate items please document them separately (e.g. car club,
trams, traffic light upgrades etc).

- Why was the money was returned (partially or fully) to the developer,
why was the money not used.

Your request has been processed under the Environmental Information
(Scotland) Regulations 2004 (EIRs). Unfortunately, the Council is only
able to meet part of your request; this information is released to you
now. Please accept my apologies for the significant delay in responding.

 

Centrally recorded information is provided within the attached
spreadsheet.

Unfortunately, we are unable to provide the further funding details
requested as this part of your request falls into the category of a
“manifestly unreasonable” request under regulation 10(4)(b) of the
Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations and we are not obliged to
respond. The time and expense involved in complying with this request
would be regarded as excessive by any reasonable person.

There is no definition of "manifestly unreasonable" in the EIRs, or in
Directive 2003/4/EC from which they are derived. Rather, it is to be
judged on each individual request, bearing in mind all circumstances of
the case as to whether a request may be regarded as “manifestly
unreasonable”. Factors that may be taken into consideration before
concluding that environmental information can be withheld under regulation
10(4)(b) include whether complying with the request would cause a
disproportionate burden in terms of the workload involved and taking into
consideration the size and resources of the public authority. Our database
contains basic records of 220 applications which would require an officer
to manually search in order to locate, retrieve and provide the missing
detail requested. Allowing 30 minutes per case this would equate to 110
hours of work.

 

Providing the information could only be done by diverting a
disproportionate quantity of the Council's resources away from other
essential core operations, with a significant negative impact on the
Council's ability to carry out its functions.

 

I have applied the public interest test to your request and I consider
that this diversion of staff time would result in public resources that
are required to be utilised for the benefit of all citizens in Edinburgh
being diverted disproportionately to respond to the specific concerns of a
single applicant. Therefore, in the circumstances, the public interest in
making the information available is outweighed by that in maintaining the
exception. This request is consequently a “manifestly unreasonable”
request under regulation 10(4)(b) of the Environmental Information
(Scotland) Regulations 2004.

 

The Council appreciates that you may not have been aware of the size and
scope of the information that you requested the Council provide you with
as a result of your request. It may be possible to provide you with a
portion of the information that you are seeking, perhaps in relation to a
reduced number of specific developers’ contribution records. If you wish
to discuss this option further, or have any other queries, please do not
hesitate to contact me. Please remember to quote the reference number
above in any future communications.

 

Please note that this letter constitutes a formal refusal notice under
regulation 13 of the Environmental Information (Scotland) Regulations
2004.

 

To promote transparency and accountability, please note it is the
Council’s policy to publish all request details and responses made under
the freedom of information legislation. This information will be made
available through the Council’s website and will not include your personal
details. The disclosure log is available at the following link:
http://www.edinburgh.gov.uk/homepage/175...

 

Your right to seek a review

 

I appreciate that our decision may disappoint you and I am sorry that we
have not been able to release all the information you requested on this
occasion. If you are unhappy with the way we have dealt with your request,
you can ask us to review our actions and decisions by writing to the;

 

Head of Strategy & Communications

The City of Edinburgh Council,

Waverley Court Business Centre 2:1,

4, East Market Street,

Edinburgh,

EH8 8BG or;

Email: [email address]

 

Please note that your request must be in a recordable format (email,
letter, audio tape etc.), and that you have 40 working days upon receipt
of this letter to ask for a review. You will receive a full response to
your review request within 20 working days of its receipt. Please remember
to quote the above reference number above in any future communications.

 

If you are not content with the outcome of the review, you can ask the
Scottish Information Commissioner to review our decision. You must submit
your complaint to the Commissioner within 6 months of receiving our review
response. The Commissioner can be contacted at:

 

The Office of the Scottish Information Commissioner

Kinburn Castle

Doubledykes Road

St Andrews

Fife

KY16 9DS

Telephone: 01334 464610

Fax: 01334 464611

Website: www.itspublicknowledge.info/Appeal

Email: [email address]

 

Yours sincerely

 

 

Iain Burden

Information Rights Officer

 

 

 

Information Governance Unit

Level 2:1, Waverley Court, Edinburgh EH8 8BG Tel 0131 200 2340

[Edinburgh City Council request email] www.edinburgh.gov.uk

 

 

 

 

dangos adrannau a ddyfynnir

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[FOI #495030 email]

Greetings

Please can you confirm the nature of the figures on the attachment. Are these figures the amount of unused Section 75 payments (at about £8m) or are they the amount collected.

I'm aware figures have recently been published saying £2.65m of Section 75 agreements have been unspent - I'm rather surprised this hasn't been released as part of this FOI.

Yours sincerely,

Paul Fountain

Information Rights Officer 4, City of Edinburgh Council

1 Atodiad

Morning Mr Fountain

I have been supplied with the following additional explanation of the figures provided,

"The figures on the spreadsheet represent monies collected through Planning as a result of section 75 obligation requirements and paid into the relevant accounts by Finance.

The use of these monies (the infrastructure necessary to mitigate the impact of the development granted planning permission) is then a matter between the requesting Departments and Finance. Finance hold the records of the draw down of those monies; Planning does not have a record of the status of those funds.

Only in circumstances where the 'use period' for the monies has expired, the developer has made a written request for repayment, and the remaining monies (either wholly or partially unused) would the matter return to Planning to arrange for repayment.

In terms of the second point made the press release concerning the £2.65m of unspent monies relates to section 75 obligations older than the 7 year period specified in the original FoI request.

As the public report to the Planning Committee identified, the Council has, over recent years, undertaken a historic review of developer contributions with a view to reconciling any unused monies. The £2.65m figure is the present amount held having been reduced as a direct result of actions following that review.

Accordingly, those monies are outwith and separate from those contributions identified within the parameters of this specific FoI request."

Hopefully this provides you with a clearer understanding of the response provided.

Kind regards,

Iain.

Iain Burden | Information Rights Officer | Information Governance Unit | Strategy & Communications Division | Chief Executive | The City of Edinburgh Council | Business Centre 2:1 | Waverley Court, 4 East Market Street, Edinburgh, EH8 8BG | 0131 200 2340 | [email address] | [email address] | www.edinburgh.gov.uk

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