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Guidance issued to ensure developers pay for education facilities

Words: Laura Edgar
Guidance for delivering school places / iStock-521611672

The government has published guidance to help local authorities to secure funding from housing developers so they can provide for the school places required for new development.

Developers contribute to the cost of new infrastructure, including schools, through section 106 agreements and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) payments.

However, local authority requirements on this vary across the country.

The non-statutory guidance, the government explained, will help local authorities negotiate what funding and land is required from housing developers for new schools and school expansions where new development puts pressure on existing schools. Developers will be able to build schools rather than contributing the money to councils.

Schools minister Lord Agnew, said: “It isn’t enough for developers simply to build houses; we need to build communities. Schools are at the centre of any community and that’s why it’s vital that developers contribute to the cost of the school places they create.

“This government is already undertaking a huge expansion in school places, with one million new places on track to be created this decade. But schools can still find themselves under pressure from new housing developments, and where they do it’s right that where appropriate developers support these costs.

“Today’s guidance ensures that local authorities can establish their needs for school places so that the right contributions from developers are secured as part of the planning process. In some instances, public funding may be used but only to the minimum extent necessary.”

This guidance has been published following updates made to Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) last year. The PPG aims to ensure that funding for schools is properly considered when housing developments are planned.

Image credit | iStock