Developer contributions supplementary guidance adopted in the Highlands

The Highland Council has published updated guidance on financial contributions required from new developments towards new infrastructure and services.

The Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance now forms part of the council’s development plan which is used to determine planning applications in Highland.

When applying for planning permission to build in Highland, developers can be required to make a financial payment towards service and infrastructure provision where there is insufficient capacity to support future development. Such payments are known as developer contributions and are regularly required for facilities including schools, roads and the provision of affordable housing.

The guidance updates the requirements for all scales of residential development, including single houses, to make proportionate contributions towards such facilities. The new guidance explains that in most instances, single houses will receive an 80% discount with the total financial payment varying from zero up to around £3,000 per house.

In updating this guidance, the council has benchmarked the level of financial contributions against other councils across Scotland and the cost of recent infrastructure projects in Highland.

Councillor Allan Henderson, chair of the Highland Council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee, said: “One benefit of the new guidance is that it provides a tool for developers and communities to understand the likely financial contributions early on in a new development being planned and will help both developers and the council to identify and deliver what is needed for Highland’s infrastructure at the outset of any development proposal. It will mean that future developments make a fair and proportionate contribution to the provision of services and facilities that makes Highland an attractive place to live.”

Members of the Highland Council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee previously agreed on August 16 to adopt the Developer Contributions Supplementary Guidance following a public consultation in early 2018. Following the final approval by Scottish Ministers the council has now adopted the guidance.

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