Developer Contributions for Schools to be reviewed
14th August 2017
The Council is to review developer contributions for schools in the Inverness area.
Taking account of the forecasted phasing of housing sites, school roll forecasts indicate that Primary Schools in Inverness are under pressure and require significant additional capacity to support growth. In addition, all Inverness secondary school are forecasted to go over capacity within the next 15 years. Three of the five Inverness secondary schools are already experiencing capacity issues with school rolls in excess of 90%.
Leader of the Council, Margaret Davidson said: "We urgently need to plan ahead for school capacity, particularly in primary schools, to keep up with development in the city. The Council is undertaking proactive work to ensure that our future communities can be provided with the facilities required to support a good quality of life and the future education of our children."
A review has commenced on the Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance which was adopted in March 2013 and a new draft is anticipated to be reported to the Places Committee in November for approval. Alongside, a review of the Action Programme for the Inner Moray Firth Local Development Plan (IMFLDP) is providing an up to date picture of the infrastructure requirements to support growth in the IMFLDP area.
This work has highlighted that the methodology for calculating developer contributions for education needs to be updated. It has also highlighted that to meet the requirements for new schools to support future growth in Inverness in particular the new-build costs set out in the existing Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance need to be clarified.
Members of the Council's Places Committee will be asked on Wednesday 16 August, to agree that negotiations on developer contributions within the Inverness associated schools groups' catchment areas will be subject to new build equivalent rates based on benchmarking with equivalent developer contribution rates used by other Councils in Scotland and a review of recent school developments in Highland.
Per-pupil costs translate to a per-dwelling cost of £6,983 for primary schools and £3,449 per dwelling for secondary school (excluding land costs). The new rates are proposed for new primary and secondary schools for any new development where there is a clear need for new schools as a result of construction.
Alongside the developer contributions for forecasted school provision, it will be vital to also factor land costs in the final calculation of developer contributions. In all cases developers will be expected to safeguard and make available the land agreed with the Council for school provision.
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Communities and developers will be invited to have their say in shaping a refreshed approach to dealing with developer contributions for developments across Highland. At today's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee, members gave the go ahead for a six week public consultation on the Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance which will begin in early 2018.
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