Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance Adopted in Highland
5th November 2018
The Highland Council has announced the publication of updated guidance on financial contributions required from new developments towards new infrastructure and services. The Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance now forms part of the Council's Development Plan which is used to determine planning applications in Highland.
When applying for planning permission to build in Highland, developers can be required to make a financial payment towards service and infrastructure provision where there is insufficient capacity to support future development. Such payments are known as developer contributions and are regularly required for facilities including schools, roads and the provision of affordable housing.
The guidance updates the requirements for all scales of residential development, including single houses, to make proportionate contributions towards such facilities. The new guidance explains that in most instances, single houses will receive an 80% discount with the total financial payment varying from zero up to around £3,000 per house.
In updating this guidance, the Council has benchmarked the level of financial contributions against other Councils across Scotland and the cost of recent infrastructure projects in Highland.
Councillor Allan Henderson, Chair of the Highland Council's Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee said:
"One benefit of the new guidance is that it provides a tool for developers and communities to understand the likely financial contributions early on in a new development being planned and will help both developers and the Council to identify and deliver what is needed for Highland’s infrastructure at the outset of any development proposal. It will mean that future developments make a fair and proportionate contribution to the provision of services and facilities that makes Highland an attractive place to live."
Members of the Highland Council’s Environment, Development and Infrastructure Committee previously agreed on 16 August 2018 to adopt the Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance following a public consultation in early 2018. Following the final approval by Scottish Ministers the Council has now adopted the guidance.
Further information and the adopted guidance can be found on the Council’s website at: https://www.highland.gov.uk/directory_record/712087/developer_contributions
Police in Lochaber can confirm that a 27-year-old man has been arrested in connection with alleged consumer protection offences in Fort William. It follows an investigation by Police Scotland and Highland Council Trading Standards, after a report was received this week of "bogus workmen" in Fort William and alleged fraudulent activity relating to charges for work carried out on a house in the town.
DETAILED analysis of the Scottish Government's funding settlement, which makes up the vast proportion of the Council's budget, has been carried out and the net result is that the Highland Council will see a reduction in its grant funding to provide the current level of services. This, together with the additional pressures equates to a £31.2M budget gap for 2019-20.
Highland Council Trading Standards have produced guidance on how to spot the signs of scams that target businesses and also remind businesses to inform their employees on what to look out for when dealing with unsolicited telephone calls, emails and texts. All businesses as well as non-profit organisations (such as charitable organisations) may spend a lot of time dealing with potential scammers.
The Highland Council has written to parents and carers of school transport pupils to inform them that D&E Coaches have recently transferred a number of Highland Council contracts to Stagecoach and some school transport routes are included. These changes are to take effect from the first day back after the school holidays, Monday 7th January 2019 and timetables have been supplied for the routes affected.
Twenty nine members of The Highland Council's Care and Learning team have celebrated their success in completing the Council's 15 month ‘Lead On’ programme. ‘Lead On’, is a programme designed to develop practitioners’ understanding of change leadership and apply this through a change initiative in their place of work.
Highland Councillors are looking forward beyond the current Inverness and Highland City-Region Deal and asking: "What next and where?". Following publication of the Deal's annual report, Leader of The Highland Council Cllr Margaret Davidson said: "A meeting will be convened in the New Year with Councillors who have a particular interest in the City-Region Deal to talk about where we can go next and what we can do.".
Work underway to determine Highland's Budget allocation. Commenting after the news received last night of Councils' individual allocations, from the Scottish Government’s draft Budget, Budget Leader Councillor Alister Mackinnon said: "Having received the details of our allocation just last night, it will take some time to work through the proposed settlement and do a detailed analysis.
THROUGHOUT the month of November, The Highland Council's Chief Executive and members of the budget team have met with staff, groups and communities across the length and breadth of the Highlands. These sessions were part of a budget engagement exercise which also included facebook chats, survey, leaflet, video, and a budget challenge to raise awareness of budget challenges and gather views and priorities.
The Highland Council is to carry out a public consultation on the implementation of a transient visitor levy in the New Year. During the Council's public engagement activity during November, a strong theme was support for raising income from tourism, including a tourist levy, which could support local infrastructure, as well as the tourism sector itself.
Members have agreed six priority commitments in a revised Council Programme at today's council meeting. The six themes within the Programme are: A Council that Champions the Highlands; A Place to Live; A place to Thrive; A place to Prosper; A Welcoming Place; and Your Highland Council These themes and the actions which the council has agreed to, reflect priorities which have emerged through the round of public engagement during November.
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