An investigation will be launched after an agreement was made to sell Lichfield District Council-owned land for development without the knowledge of the local authority’s cabinet.
Chief executive Diane Tilley confirmed to an overview and scrutiny meeting that steps were being taken following the controversy surrounding the land at Leyfields and Netherstowe.
Lichfield District Council’s leader Cllr Doug Pullen revealed he had been left in an “impossible position” after it emerged a deal had been agreed to sell the land without his knowledge.
Although development on these sites could still be scuppered after a planning committee report said housing plans should be rejected, the chief executive – who has confirmed she will stand down later this year – told the meeting that a review would be taking place.
“An external investigation has been commissioned to look into the processes and the issues surrounding that to make sure any lessons learned are captured and built into future constitutional rewrites.”Diane Tilley
The admission came as part of a discussion around the future committee structure at the council.
Cllr Joanne Grange had asked that the issue of delegated decision-making powers also be considered.
“I’m thinking here against the backdrop of the Leyfields and Netherstowe situation.
“For whatever reason that outcome was not what anyone was hoping it might be in terms of contracts being signed.
“It feels like that’s the result of a process going wrong or something going wrong in how those delegated authorities are set up.
“As part of the review of committees we need to make sure that scheme of delegation is in line and that we are all happy with what is being delegated and what is not.”Cllr Joanne Grange, Lichfield District Council
The outgoing chief executive has previously revealed that none of those involved in the agreement to sell the land are still working at the council.