On schemes above 10 dwellings developers are required to fund new school places in the school catchment area where schools are at or near capacity.
In Derbyshire a development of 100 homes will typically generate a demand for 20 primary school places, 15 secondary school places and 6 sixth form or technical school places. The costs of each place are £11,500 per primary places, and £17,500 per secondary and sixth form place.
In a further amendment to Planning Practice Guidance the Government has made it plain for the first time that education developments should be considered as infrastructure for the purposes of the Community Infrastructure Levy. This means that government funding for schools is reduced to take account of developer contributions to avoid double funding for new school places.
This change in funding is aimed at reducing the cost to the exchequer and will require Section 106 funds to deliver an increase in school places. Whilst it has been commonly accepted for some time that education funding was not negotiable, this change confirms as much. The consequence for developers is that where they are seeking any reduction in Section 106 costs on marginal schemes such savings will have to come from the levels of affordable housing or the provision of other community benefits rather than from education costs.
If you have any queries about developer contribution matters please do not hesitate to get in touch. Since being founded in 2002 we have worked with developers of all sizes, from small companies working on one property at a time to large house builders and commercial organisations where multi-million pound schemes are the norm.