Highland Council puts developer contributions guidance out to consultation

Highland Council colour newCommunities and developers will be invited to have their say in shaping a refreshed approach to dealing with developer contributions for developments across Highland.

Members of the Highland Council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee yesterday gave the go ahead for a six week public consultation on the Draft Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance which will begin in early 2018.

This follows a comprehensive review of the council’s existing Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance was adopted by the council in March 2013 to support the implementation of the Highland-wide Local Development Plan. The review has included benchmarking of specific types of contribution against other council areas and examination of the costs for the provision of facilities and infrastructure.

Earlier this year, the council proposed raising the maximum developer contributions for schools in the Inverness area from £2,013 to £6,983 for each new build to help the local authority cope with increasing rolls at city schools.

The new Draft proposes a number of key updates, including removing the current threshold which limits contributions for education and community facilities to housing development of four or more homes. This would mean that all scales of housing development, including single homes, would be required to make a proportionate contribution.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of the environment, development and infrastructure committee, said: “Our existing guidance has been in place for a number of years and it is good practice to review it to ensure the methodology for each type of developer contribution is up to date and accurately reflects the costs for providing new services and infrastructure to support our future communities.

“The guidance is needed to ensure Highland Council has a coordinated and consistent approach to developer contributions. All developers will have the key information they need to know in front of them from the very start. This will be vital to help deliver sustainable economic growth in the Highlands without compromising the level of services, infrastructure and facilities currently enjoyed by those living, working and visiting the area.”

Approval of the draft guidance means it will be taken into account alongside the adopted guidance in determining planning applications.

Full details of how developers, community groups and individuals can take part in the consultation will be provided when the consultation is launched early in the New Year.

Findings of the consultation, along with a finalised version of the guidance, are due to be presented to committee in May 2018.

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