The revised Developer Contributions SPD, adopted in July 2018, sets out guidance relating to the collection of developer contributions, to be used when determining planning applications.
Section 106 (or S106) refers to a section in the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, by which housing developers can be obliged to make contributions to local authorities to mitigate any adverse impact of their development on the local infrastructure. This includes the impact on local schools.
Provision of sufficient good quality school places is crucial in ensuring that all children have the opportunity to gain the vital knowledge, skills and qualifications needed for a bright start in life. Worcestershire County Council has a statutory responsibility to ensure there are sufficient school places for all children resident in Worcestershire who wish to attend a state-funded school. This includes academies and free schools.
The local planning authority will make a determination as to whether a planning obligation is required in respect to education provision on a case by case basis. This will be determined having regard to the tests within Regulation 122(2) of the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010, namely:
(2) A planning obligation may only constitute a reason for granting planning permission for the development if the obligation is—
(a) necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms;
(b) directly related to the development; and
(c) fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.
In determining whether a contribution is justified, the Council will have regard to the policy document ‘Education Planning Obligations Worcestershire’ (adopted from 1 August 2019) as a material consideration. However, the document is not determinative of whether a contribution is required as ultimately this requires a degree of planning judgment as a matter of fact and degree.