Hatfield Town Council reveals Birchwood scheme payments

PUBLISHED: 11:01 27 September 2017 | UPDATED: 11:07 27 September 2017

Hatfield's Birchwood Leisure Centre

Hatfield's Birchwood Leisure Centre

Danny Loo Photography 2016

Hatfield Town Council has revealed what it has paid so far in relation to its controversial Birchwood scheme.

Following a Freedom of Information (FOI) request the local authority confirmed it has spent just over £45k in relation to the previously confidential project.

Among the three payments – all made to Salisbury Square-based architects Bryant & Moore – was £34,800 on October 13, 2016, as well as £3,744 on November 4 and £6,468 on February 21 this year, HTC clerk Carrie Lloyd confirmed.

They all covered “architectural services on the pre-application plans and land registry charges/fees and VAT”, she added.

Ms Lloyd also said that a £7,271 payment to the same architects on September 6, which funded “conceptual drawings and 3D images for a community sporting hub at Birchwood Playing Fields”, does not relate to the scheme.

HTC earlier this month said residents will be asked for their views on two differently scaled proposals for new sports facilities at Birchwood.

The FOI request followed earlier public calls to disclose how much money it had spent investigating the scheme.

However, it has emerged that HTC initially did not publish the payments in its online spending records – leaving no financial trail for immediate public scrutiny.

The payments were retrospectively added to its online Purchase Ledger Payments to Suppliers over £500 on September 13, Ms Lloyd confirmed.

Town council leader Lenny Brandon did not respond to a request for comment.

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