Report from the Strategic Director of Children and Young People’s Services.
1. That approval be granted to the revised Section 106 Developer Education Contributions Policy.
Consideration was given to the report which proposed changes to the threshold criteria within the Section 106 Developer Contributions Policy. The changes reflected recent updates to the evidence base and further work undertaken within the Council to prepare refreshed Supplementary Planning Policy guidance.
The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Section 106) made provision for Local Authorities to seek financial contributions from developers towards education infrastructure where it could be evidenced that a development would put pressure on existing school capacity. The Section 106 Developer Education Contributions Policy set out the Council’s strategy towards analysing the impact on education and requesting developer contributions towards creating additional school places where necessary and appropriate.
The latest cost multipliers issued by Department for Education and BCIS (Building Cost Information Service) had uplifted the previous cost formula from £2,342 (Primary) and £2,521 (Secondary) to £3,472 (Primary), £3,737 (Secondary) and £1,621 (Sixth Form). The policy revision reflects the uplift. In future those costs would be updated annually to reflect increases in build costs and as good practice in negotiating Section 106 planning contributions.
The Policy revision which was attached as Appendix 1 to the report also incorporated the use of Section 106 funding for Special Education Needs and Disability (SEND) and Social Emotional and Mental Health (SEMH) resources. This was because the Local Authority had a strategy to align SEND/SEMH resource bases to local mainstream schools to meet the rising need for places in mainstream education for children with SEND/SEMH both with Education, Health and Care Plans (EHCP’s) and registered as SEND needs in school but below EHCP threshold.
Consultation was undertaken with stakeholders including RMBC Planning Department (linked to the draft Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD) -Securing Developer Contributions), Housing Department, Legal Department, Finance Department, Procurement Department and Regeneration and Environment Directorate. Feedback from consultees had informed revisions to the revised draft Policy, attached as Appendix 3 to the report.
That approval be granted to the revised Section 106 Developer Education Contributions Policy.