MONEY contributed by developers to mitigate the impact of new homes and offices has gone unspent in Harrow and Brent.

Homebuilders and other firms conducting large scale projects are required to off-set the extra pressure on roads, schools, leisure, by paying a negotiated sum, known as section 106 money or ‘planning gain’ money, to the relevant local authority to be spent on improvements, and this cash can be pooled from several schemes if need be.

However, the cash cannot be clung on to indefinitely and has to be spent on specific projects or else the amounts must be reimbursed.

Answers to a Freedom of Information Act (FoI) request revealed in Harrow that all the money handed to Harrow Council was spent for the years 2011-12 and 2012-13, but for the financial years 2008/09, 2009/10 and 2010/11 thousands of pounds were returned to the contributors and the money not spent on public works as intended.

In 2008/09, £100,000 was returned as it was supposed to be spent on accessibility improvements but Transport for London did not carry out the relevant survey.

The following year £6,200 was returned as the deadline for spending the money on highway improvements expired and in 2010/11, £17,500 was returned as the unspecified scheme for which the funding was earmarked did not go ahead.

During these three years £596,327, £961,972 and £116,260 was spent.

It is not clear from the FoI response where the money was returned to and which developer it had come from.

Brent Council has only kept records since 2011/12 and in the last two years, 2011/12 and 2012/13, £1,371,840 and £3,146,186 was spent respectively.

There was £7,667,756 allocated and £2,688,717 is unclaimed. In total £6,673,168.86 has not been spent and £27,287 was returned from this financial year.