Nottingham

Mansfield District Council error may cost £340,000

A district council may have to pay back £340,000 set aside for community projects because of a clerical error.

The money was given to Mansfield District Council by developers Bloor Homes in a section 106 agreement.

The firm agreed to fund community schemes after it was granted permission to build 30 homes on Atkins Lane in Mansfield in 2004.

The council said it was in discussions with the developer to see if they could keep the funds.

Bloor Homes did not want to comment.

'Benefit of community'

The deadline for spending the money was August 2009 but an error was made when inputting the information into the council's database and the funds were given a deadline of August 2011.

Ajman Ali, the council's corporate director for housing and neighbourhood services, said legally the authority had to give the money back but were relying on the goodwill of the developer.

"We used to have a manual system for monitoring section 106 expenditure and in 2007 we put together an electronic database to improve that process and regrettably an error did occur in that inputting process.

"The council has been very successfully delivering section 106 schemes worth millions of pounds over the years.

"Whilst the outcome of this particular scheme is extremely regrettably we are working with the developers to see if we can keep some of the money for the benefit of the community," he said.

The council said it had begun an investigation into how the error happened.

The money was due to be spent on improvements to Quarry Lane Nature Reserve, work on the 190-year-old listed viaduct in Mansfield and improvements to the Hermitage Lane Nature Reserve including paths and fencing.

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