Not A Snagging Question

Divi

New Member
Stewart Milne homes at Portlethen question. Planning approval was given provided a primary school was on the plans. SM provided the land for the school handed over £2 million plus in planning gain, school should have been completed this year. School has not been built, 100s of people bought these homes because of a promised new school. Who do we put pressure on, the council or SM, sales office staff are still saying there will be a new school, council has recently said no school will be built. :confused:
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
Perhpas this is one for your solicitor or MP to investigate.
It would seem Stewart Milne have "paid" for their planning approval by giving land and £2million to the local council on the premise that a new primary school would be built on the land.

It is feasible that due to the economic climate, the council have decided not to build the school, using the planning payment for another purpose(s), especially as they have told you no school is being built.

Was the planning permission granted on the condition that a new school would be built/provided for/paid for by the developer?
If so then a school must be built. You would need to view the planning approval at your council offices.
Find out who has/had responsiblity to build the school (housebuilder or council)

If the school is mentioned in the house builder's sales literature, or if you were told by the builder's sales staff that a school was being built then this is a clear breach of the Property Misdescriptions Act 1992 and you should refer the matter to your local trading standards office.

You should perhaps ask in writing Stewart Milne CEO what the actual situation is as the sales staff appear to not know and are telling you what you want to hear!
 

Divi

New Member
Thank you, will check out the planning. council say no need for school as roll numbers show no requirement for one! this is despite several 1000 homes being built/to be built. they have used the planning gain to prop up the school the new one should have replaced.
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
I am not an expert in "planning gain" but I would think that having identified the need for a school as part of the planning application, that need could not suddenly disappear once the council has the cash.

Section 106 agreements, Community Infrastructure charges, whatever! are supposed to be used for improving the infrastructure that the new development creates a need for; not subisidising the general council budget requirements.

If I was you I would definitely get my MP involved in this.
 

Divi

New Member
Attended a community council meeting this week with several residents from the SM site, we are going to form a residents association. A rep from SM was there and the planning gain was discussed, and it was an eyeopener. The council have been pointing the finger of blame at SM and it turns out they are not the bad guys, the council are, no surprises there. When SM gave them the planning gain conditions were attached and the council have used the money for projects they had no right to, like repairs that should have been paid for with their own budget. SM is rightly p!ssed off at that, as are we the residents who have been left with no community facilities. SM to their credit [and I dont live in an SM home] have built football pitches, the council turned down their offer of building a community hall!!
 

NewHomeExpert

Well-Known Member
This is now an issue for your Member of Parliament.

Planning gain must be used for the purposes intended.

It is not so councils can do whatever they want with it.

It may as well just be called a Planning Tax because that is what it is and the pretence that it is for new essential facilities for the community is just a smokescreen.
 
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