Cumbernauld cashcow row continues as hidden figures are revealed

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A Freedom of Information request has revealed that Cumbernauld is the town within North Lanarkshire that gets the least benefit from the sales of land for housing.

And that’s despite the claim that Cumbernauld makes up approximately half of the land sold within the whole authority.

Firebrand Scottish Nationalist-turnedIndependent Councillor Alan O’Brien has sourced statistics which show that Cumbernauld has received a mere £100,000 from planning gain handed over by housing developers- while Motherwell has £14 million in the pot.

He insists the cash has been spent on a community benefits allocation that Cumbernauld has seen nothing of. And he has repeated these claims in a newsletter than has been distributed to thousands of local homes within his constituency.

The councillor has long repeated the claim that Cumbernauld is being used as a moneyspinner by the council .

He believes that NLC is cashing in on the fact that the town has plentiful stretches of land that are available for sale to housing developers.

And he believes the FoI document is concrete proof of this.

Councillor O’Brien said: “This is all the more questionable as Cumbernauld is responsible for in the region of half this council’s land sales for new builds.

“Based on our share of the new builds our planning gain communuity benefits should have been around £10million mark not less than 1% of that.

“It does appear that the Council has been, yet again, diverting money raised in Cumbernauld into its Labour voting Lanarkshire heartlands.

“It’s bad enough that we receive a derisory return from this council for our contribution to its coffer.

“However to actually divert our community benefits to the other parts of NLC is very sinister indeed.

“ It really just confirms that NLC regards Cumbernauld as a cash cow they can withdraw our cash from at will,’’ he added.

A council spokesman confirmed that the statistics were correct but added: “They are also misleading.

“The council asks for developer contributions where there will be a cost to us for providing additional infrastructure due to the development.

“For example, where a housing estate is likely to cause a school roll to breach capacity, we might ask for the cost of additional classrooms to be met.

“The contributions don’t go into a pot to be shared throughout the council area. Planning law is quite clear the money must be spent on projects related to the developments.

“This has been explained to the councillor on numerous occasions,’’ he added.