Moray councillors scrap cap on developer contributions

A cap on the amount housing developers contribute towards infrastructure improvements was scrapped by Moray councillors yesterday.

The existing maximum Moray Council could seek towards the cost of offsetting the impact of developments on roads, schools and other public services was £6,500 per unit.

At a meeting of the local authority’s planning and regulatory services committee, members were told that the true cost of supporting developments with infrastructure continues to be subsidised by the council.

Councillors from all parties unanimously agreed to remove the cap and authorise planning staff to negotiate more appropriate levels of financial contribution from developers.

The council will calculate the level of contribution required on a case-by-case basis, and base the figure on existing policy and national guidelines. Developers disputing the amount will have to evidence their claims to demonstrate the contribution renders the development unviable.

A planning officer said: “The council continues to bridge the gap to provide the necessary infrastructure as a result of the low level of developer obligations.

“By removing the cap, the number of viability claims will likely increase and the removal of the cap does not mean that the council will achieve the full cost of infrastructure, as each case will have to be treated on its merits.

“It is however likely that more than £6,500 per residential unit will be secured towards infrastructure requirements and the council`s contribution towards the cost of infrastructure will therefore be reduced.”

Single houses built by private self-builders in the countryside will also be required to contribute towards the full cost of infrastructure.

Full guidance has been drafted to assist developers, and this will be subject to a six-week period of consultation starting on January 6. The removal of the cap will take place in the summer of 2020 with the adoption of the new local development plan for Moray.

Related posts