£2.5m funding is ‘not serving the community’
Community council not happy with spending
Housing developments in Cambuslang East have generated an additional £ 2.5million for investment in local facilities, the Reformer can reveal.
The cash, known as community gain funding, has been paid by building companies between 2002 and 2015 as a way of ensuring community benefit - such as a play park or recreational facilities - is added to any new development.
Figures have been gat h e red by the Reformer amidst growing concern that South Lanarkshire Council is spending the cash on projects outwith the ward.
Obtained via a Freedom of Information request to the council, the figures show that of the £2.5m attributed to Cambuslang East, £1.9m has been allocated to projects within the Newton Community Growth area. This includes £350,0000 for a football pitch and £300,000 for a new community hall, to be built alongside the area’s new primary school which also received £1.2m in funding.
A further £240,000 will be spent building an extension at St Charles’ Primary and making internal alternations at Cairns.
The figures show that despite concerns that cash is being spent elsewhere, no money has been passed to Uddingston Grammar.
John Edgar, of Halfway Community Council, said that while the majority of community gain money was spent in Cambuslang East it was not invested in facilities desperately needed in the community.
He said: “Halfway Community Council are not happy with the way the funding is spent. We feel the money is not serving the community.
“South Lanarkshire Council are putting it into infrastructure they want, not what the community has asked for.
“The lifestyle centre is in Rutherglen, Springhall Hall is in Rutherglen and the Fernhill Hall is in Rutherglen. There is not one facility in the Cambuslang East ward which will be the largest ward in South Lanarkshire in the next five years.
“They really need to look at what they are doing with the money. The houses are being built here, but there’s no infrastructure, it’s disgusting.”
To date £ 90,000 of community gain funding dedicated to improvements in Cambuslang East remains unspent, while a further £225,000 generated in the area for affordable housing is to be spent in the next five years.
Some of the money has already been spent building 70 new affordable homes in Fernhill this year.
A spokeswoman for South Lanarkshire Council said: “Developers’ contributions received by the council, through the planning gain process are conditioned and can only be spent in line with these conditions.
“Accordingly, if the money received is less than the amount required to undertake an element of work, then the money is held until other money is received for the same purpose, until a sufficient sum is available to complete the work.”
Pauline Elliot, head of planning and economic development added: “The council, where appropriate, will seek contributions from developers to offset the impacts their proposals may have on the infrastructure in the local area such as roads, education and community facilities, plus contributions towards affordable housing.”
Disgust John Edgar