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They are, however, a cost of development.
Our clients often ask us what is a reasonable and proportionate contribution relative to the impact of a development? We are also regularly asked about the robustness of capacity assessments and assumptions relied upon when councils request developer education contributions. This has led to our Economics team undertaking over 40 education assessments over the last year and a half on behalf of our developer clients.
Our education assessment work across the country has highlighted to us a number of issues which regularly arise and which can result in overstatement of the need for contributions, or even act as a justification for not permitting development. This can lead to higher costs of development arising, or in the most severe cases act as a brake on development. In the face of a pressing need to deliver more homes to meet housing need, neither are desirable outcomes.
The common issues that we encounter include:
These are all challengeable issues, but require robust evidence in the form of an education assessment to be successful. This need not be an adversarial process, and many common issues with education capacity assessments and S106 requests can be resolved through early dialogue, sharing of robust and credible data and effective negotiation. In the rare instances where education matters are a reason for refusal of a planning permission, having a robust education assessment is imperative in appealing a decision successfully.
Our experience has enabled our clients to:
Our Planning team also helps clients to deliver education facilities. Contact Sara Dutfield if you would like more information.
More information can be found here:
24 May 2018
Senior Planner, Economics
Assistant Planner, Economics