After years of arguing over the “audit” of the Craighouse figures, it has finally been released on the Edinburgh council website, months after the decision. But instead of backing up the claim by the council that the Craighouse proposals were “fully-audited”, it actually lists millions of pounds worth of things not audited.
- “Land acquisition, finances, charges etc” – that comes to £7.5m of costs in the planning application explicitly stated as not audited
- “Professional fees and VAT thereon” – another £6.8m of costs not audited
- “Building warrant and planning fees” – another £1m not audited
- “Section 75 costs” – £500k not audited
But that’s not all. The drawing numbers have been redacted! Why have the drawing numbers been redacted as commercially-sensitive? What possible information could be in them? The only thing we could do with them is check they audited the plans actually in the planning application! Why would they want to stop us checking the audit matched the plans in the planning application? The only check we can do is comparing the sizes of the buildings in the audit report and planning application, for which two of the buildings have significantly different sizes.
If it really is “fully audited”, shouldn’t the sizes of the buildings match between the audit report and the planning application?
There is even a section on “minor discrepancies” between the cost plans and the drawings provided for the audit. The “minor discrepancies” are redacted!
And there’s more: The audit states “No further information has been provided in respect of hard and soft landscaping, drainage or utilities”, so why has the cost of those increased by £175,000?
It also comments on the plans being audited: “The information provided … is not detailed”. “No separate specification exists for the new build. Limited structural information exists or has been provided.” It seems that the “audit” was of specifications gleaned from “discussions” and “walk rounds”.
What about the valuations which were the subject of so much doubt? They are not even included in the audit at all. How can the profit have been “fully-audited”, if only some of the costs are audited and not the valuations?
Why not write to your local councillor and ask why the public and councillors were not given access to this information before the hearing, so the “fully audited” nonsense could have been challenged?