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Havering Council vows to recover missing £180,000

PUBLISHED: 09:00 19 December 2010 | UPDATED: 10:32 20 December 2010

Havering Town Hall

Havering Town Hall

Archant

HAVERING Council has promised to recover thousands of pounds of missing funds it is owed by developers who have gone bust.

The borough is currently more than £180,000 out of pocket because of outstanding payments which developers haven’t yet coughed up.

The contributions which are supposed to go towards funding highways and education projects were set out in Section 106 legal agreements made during the planning process for two planning applications passed in 2005 and 2006.

Enfield-based Phase 4 Developments Ltd built a block of 13 flats in Main Road, Romford, and were legally-bound to provide £68,744 towards Havering education.

Cheshunt-based ESL Services Ltd demolished and rebuilt an office block with 60 apartments and a cafe in Western Road, Romford, and signed a legal agreement to contribute £102,028 to education, £10,000 to highways and £10,000 to public art. The art cash has been paid.

The rest on both was due to be handed over before residents moved in to the homes on both sites, but since then both developers have gone into administration leaving Havering Council with no guarantee of getting the cash at all.

But a Havering Council spokesman said the council was confident the money would arrive.

The spokesman said: “Any unpaid 106 agreements will be pursued, through the courts if necessary. A section 106 is a legally binding agreement.

“In cases where a company has gone into administration, we negotiate a payment plan with the administrators to ensure we receive all the section 106 money.”

The missing cash was revealed in a report presented to Havering Council’s Regulatory Services Committee - which makes the decisions on approving planning applications submitted to the council.

It detailed a further combined £200,000 which could be outstanding on three other planning applications approved between 2001 and 2006.

Up to £161,641 could be missing in payments towards the borough’s education provision from housing developments completed in Ongar Way, Rainham, and Upper Brentwood Road, Romford, and £43,000 could be owed towards new football facilities from a sports club in Gidea Park.

On each the report stated: “Investigations are ongoing as to whether this contribution has been received.”

A council spokesman added: “We have records of all payments made. For some older cases, a check of financial records needs to be undertaken to ensure a payment had been made.”

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