Guidance and information for headteachers and governors on the likely impact of housing development within their school's normal area
A Section 106 Planning Agreement Contribution (S106) may be levied by district councils on developers as part of the planning process in order to assist with provision of local infrastructure. Part of a S106 contribution may be agreed for educational provision. The development section liaises with developers through district councils for all proposed S106 agreements. It should be noted that Chesterfield Borough Council operates a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) system, through which it is possible for Derbyshire County Council to bid for funds to increase education infrastructure where appropriate.
Assessment of the need for S106 contributions is based on a ‘formula’ that for every 100 dwellings we would expect so many primary, secondary and post-16 children moving into the development. It is currently based on a statistical assessment of population and housing occupancy data from the national census 2011, and this will be updated after every national census. Each planning application is assessed on this basis to identify how many primary and secondary pupils will be generated by the proposed development.
The Developer Contributions Protocol has been created to assist developers, and sets out clearly the county council’s expectations as to how development will need to mitigate its impact with regard to the infrastructure and services delivered by the county council. This protocol details the type and level of contributions which may be sought by the county council when consulted on planning applications, and the methodology which underpins the calculations.
The current Developer Contributions Protocol can be accessed on the Derbyshire County Council website.
The next step in the process is to identify the normal area schools at primary and secondary phase within which the proposed development falls, in line with the local authority’s statutory duty to provide a local school place for each child. Having identified the normal area schools, the net capacity and current number on roll is identified, and a decision taken on whether there is sufficient accommodation available currently to accommodate all pupils from the proposed development. Also, the pupil projections for the coming five years are assessed to identify whether there will be a shortfall of accommodation in the near future as a result of known pupils/children already in the area.
At present, existing proposed housing developments are not included within the pupil projections, as yields from these developments are difficult to project due to housing trajectories and timescales. Therefore, we also use an additional assessment to determine the potential yield from planning applications that have been approved within the last 3 years. This is the expectation that as part of their approval, developments are expected to commence within 3 years.
On the basis of this information, a judgement is made. There are three potential outcomes:
- There is sufficient accommodation already and therefore no S106 contribution is required.
- There is accommodation currently, but projections indicate this will be utilised by pupils already within the area and so additional numbers will put pressure on the school’s accommodation and therefore a S106 contribution is required.
- There is insufficient accommodation currently and so a S106 contribution is required.
Where a development consists of one-bedroom flats or apartments only, or where a developer identifies one-bedroom properties within the overall plan of the development, no account will be taken of these properties in the assessment against the formula, and in 2003 Cabinet approved a policy by which any development of less than 10 dwellings is not included in any bid for S106 funds.
This assessment establishes whether there is a requirement for a S106 contribution. The level of contribution in financial terms is determined by using multipliers formerly provided by the DfE(S) on an annual basis of the cost per pupil of capital development in schools (we continue to use the latest available figures). The figures were based on their analysis of building costs per pupil nationally, with indicative proportions to take account of regional variation in costs.
The request for a S106 education contribution is submitted to the district or borough council in written form for inclusion in the negotiations with the developer leading to the planning permission for the development (or otherwise).
Although the county council is a statutory consultee, we are not guaranteed success in the request for a contribution. This decision ultimately rests with the local planning authority and is often considered in light of the viability of the proposed development.
Allocation and Spending of S106 monies
The agreement of any contribution is incorporated in a legal document, the signed S106 Agreement. This contribution amount usually involves an agreed schedule of payments, usually triggered when a developer reaches an agreed number of build and/or an agreed number of occupations. Upon which part of the agreed contribution is released to the planning authority and which we are then able to request.
This process of obtaining the contribution can and does take years. A developer usually has a clause to commence build within 3 years and then it could take another 3 to 5 years before completion before the whole of the contribution is received.
Even during this period, a developer can go back to the planning authority to reduce dwellings and therefore reduced contributions and even ask to remove paying them at all.
Development companies have also been known to cease trading and therefore the process starts again.
Income from S106 will be notified to the development section, who will review the need for development in line with the requirement of the agreement and school’s circumstances.
Discussions will be held with the school/schools; an appropriate scheme will be identified, and the necessary member approvals will be obtained.
Income from S106 will vary in size dependent on the size of the development and the anticipated shortfall in school places as informed by the assessment process. It is likely that the larger projects will require architectural support and will be managed by officers from the Development team. The smaller amounts may be used to support school identified projects.
The Development section has a robust system for monitoring and managing S106 requests and developments. Local planning authorities also produce an annual assessment of their housing known as a Housing Position Statement or 5-Year Housing Supply document. This indicates how many dwellings have been and are due to be built over a period of 5 to 10 years. This can be seen on any of the planning district websites. The Development department conducts regular meetings with all the planning districts to discuss the impact on additional housing and their timescale.
Further information and advice
Contact your Development Officer or Jennie McCusker, Development Manager – email: Jennie.firstname.lastname@example.org