Edinburgh faces ‘£500m funding gap' for transport and schools


Fears have been raised over Edinburgh’s multi-million pound funding gap for the necessary transport and schooling to serve new housing.

A report due to be put to the city council’s planning committee on Thursday has predicted the cost of transport links and education infrastructure stemming from the local development plan (LDP) could reach £217m over the next five to 10 years.

The city will need to build 32,000 houses by 2024 if it is to meet Scottish Government guidelines. Its LDP outlining the location of such residences is due for approval on 14 May following months of delays over local sites.

Councilors will be advised that the ‘funding gap’ for the transport links and schooling elements of the LDP is, as yet, of an unknown size.

Documents outline that work is ongoing to ascertain how much funding can be recouped through developer contributions.

Conservative councilor Joanna Moway, who sits on the planning committee, indicated to the Edinburgh Evening News that most of the transport infrastructure for the plan ‘just isn’t costed’ and the city faces ‘a half billion pound gap at present’.

Cllr Ian Perry, convener of the planning committee, said: ‘Clearly the council is facing a major challenge to fund all the necessary infrastructure including schools and roads to support Edinburgh’s growth.

‘The associated costs are considerable and the council will continue to work with the development industry to understand what contribution they can make, before programming projects and spending public money.

‘When the budget was set for 2015/16, £900,000 was set aside for feasibility studies for the Action Programme. This work will be carried out this year in order to inform the final document which will be agreed along with the final LDP.’

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