Cash-strapped Falkirk Council will stump up £750,000 towards the next phase of Denny’s regeneration after private developers refused to.
The land forming phase two of the project had been marketed to potential buyers with the condition that the sum must be paid over and above the ground price.
It is a good thing the council has agreed to pay this but it should have been done six months agoCouncillor Brian McCabe
The money is a contribution for the delivery of the long-awaited Denny Eastern Access Road (DEAR), a bypass for the town.
But at a meeting of the council’s executive committee members heard that two developers who had been interested in the land refused to pay the DEAR contribution.
Rhona Geisler, director of development services, said if investors were unlikely to pay the levy, the land was worth “a negative value”.
The committee decided to take on the payment, arguing that it was a critical part of the regeneration.
However, independent Denny councillor Brian McCabe criticised how the process was being managed.
He said: “It is a good thing the council has agreed to pay this but it should have been done six months ago.
“These two developers, and I don’t know who they are, have submitted applications which include drawings and plans which all cost money, and then they’re told you need to pay £750,000.
“There’s a lack of control here. I’ve repeatedly called for the re-introduction of the Denny regneration group which was a mix of local representatives and retailers who received monthly updates about what was going on,” he added.