Local Planning Guidance Note No 27 - Developer Contributions to Schools
This is one of a series of local planning guidance notes designed to amplify policy GDP2 in the Wrexham Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and identifies the circumstances and locations in which developer contributions to the provision of education facilities, such as additional classrooms, will be necessary. The (UDP) was adopted by the Council in February 2005 and this note is a material consideration in the determination of all relevant planning policies.
Education Planning in Wrexham
For education planning purposes links between certain infant and junior schools and between junior/primary schools and secondary schools in groups throughout the County Borough are maintained. The Council’s School Admissions Policy grants parental preference, unless to do so would prejudice the efficient and effective use of its resources. Over 96% of pupils are allocated places in accordance with their parents' first preference.
Background to this Guidance Note
Local authorities find themselves under increasing financial pressure to meet the educational needs arising from residential development. Cumulatively, even relatively small developments can have a significant financial impact on the provision of school places. Welsh Office Circular 13/97 ‘Planning Obligations’ makes provision for developer contributions to offset the negative consequences of development provided there is guidance on this in the local development plan. The Wrexham UDP provides this guidance through Policy GDP2 on Capacity of Infrastructure & Community Facilities.
The rest of this note sets out further information on how this Policy will be applied.
Any developer contribution will be based on the following considerations:
- It will only apply to proposed developments of four or more residential units, whether by new build, conversion or changes of use. Developments should not be deliberately sub-divided or phased in an attempt to avoid this threshold. Where the development has been split or phased, the resulting cumulative number of dwellings will be used to calculate the financial contribution.
- It will only apply to schools deemed to have a shortage of places taking into account other residential developments within the area and after addition of the extra pupils likely to be generated by the proposed development.
- The number and type of proposed residential units (large or small houses, bungalows or apartments). More detail is given in Table 1.
- The likely ratio of pupils per housing unit applicable to the appropriate school or schools at both primary and secondary level.
- The location of the development and likely impact on existing schools. This will be assessed using the same criteria as the Council’s Schools Admissions Policy in relation to proximity and feeder schools. A map of school catchment areas is available from the Planning Department.
If the potential pupils generated by the proposed development cannot be accommodated within existing schools then a commuted payment will be calculated by multiplying the additional places required by the pupil cost figure (see Table 1) to produce the commuted sum to be included in the planning obligation. Contributions by way of a release of land for a new school or direct construction may be considered as an alternative to payment of a commuted sum at the Council’s discretion.
Table 1: Cost guidelines
|School Type||No. of pupils generated by each 2-3 bed house||
Building Cost Multiplier
4 - 11 years
11 - 16 years
|School with 6th Form||0.52||4440|
|School without 6th Form||0.48||3960|
- Building cost multipliers are base don Department for Education guidelines, pupil allocations and average building cost assessment.
- 1 bedroom and accommodation for the elderly no charge. 2/3 bedrooms standard charge (shown above). 4+ bedrooms plus 20%.
- School Catchment Areas are secondary schools and their feeder primary schools plus current Council policy on pupil proximity to schools.
- School population assessments to be reviewed annually.
Worked example in Johnstown Infants School catchment area
For the development of:
- 10 - 1 bedroom
- 10 - 2 bedroom
- 10 - 3 bedroom
- 10 - 4 bedroom houses/flats
Charges at primary school level
10 - 1 bedroom no charge
10 - 2 bedroom standard charge
10 * £1960 = £19600
10 - 3 bedroom standard charge
10 * £1960 = £19600
10 - 4 bedroom standard charge +20%
10 * £2352 = £23520
Charges at secondary school level
No shortage, no charge.
Timing of contributions
Any built educational provision will need to be completed to reflect the planned occupation of the homes. For larger developments phased payment will be considered to fit construction and occupation programmes.
The following guidelines are designed to give prospective developers an idea of the possible implications of their proposals:
- Every 100 houses produces around 28 primary age pupils and around 20 secondary age pupils.
- For developments that generate 100 pupils and above consideration will be given to a new school on a new site dependent on location and future growth potential of the area and the applicant will be expected to contribute in proportion to the number of school places the development generates.
- The Council will specify the nature of the works or the area which the contribution will finance, which may include a completely new school.
- Where a contribution is required, a draft Section 106 Agreement should accompany the planning application. Wrexham County Borough Council’s Section 106 templates are available on request from the Planning department.
Schools where contributions are likely to be required
The list below shows schools where contributions are likely to be required. At all other schools there is likely to be some spare capacity to accommodate some development. This is not a definitive list, but a guide to developers.
Bryn Alyn, Gwersyllt (11 to 16 years)
Maelor, Penley (11 to 18 years)
Darland, Rossett (11 to 18 years)
Gwersyllt Bryn Alyn Catchment
Brymbo Aided, St Mary’s
New Broughton C.P.,
Pentre Broughton C.P.
Llangollen Dinas Bran (Denbighshire) Catchment
Penley Maelor Catchment
Rhosllanerchrugog - Y Grango School Catchment
Rossett - Darland School Catchment
Ruabon - Rhiwabon (11 to 18 years) School Catchment
Ruabon Maes y Llan C.P.
Ruabon St. Mary's
Wrexham - Clywedog School Catchment
Wrexham - St. Joseph's School Catchment
Wrexham - Rhosnesni School Catchment
Acton Park C.P.
Barkers Lane C.P.
Wrexham - Morgan Llwyd (11 to 18 years) School Catchment
Wrexham Plas Coch C.P.
Adopted March 2004
Revised November 2010