Developer Contributions SPD
This part of the SPD sets out the key types of contributions that the Council may seek to secure from development and how it identifies with the relevant policy basis, types of development to which the obligation will apply, thresholds over which the obligation will be sought and, where possible the basis on which the level of obligation will be sought. Contributions covered by this SPD relate primarily to residential developments. Non- residential development requirements, such as those associated with retail and commercial development will be considered on a case by case basis.
Threshold for Contributions – Residential development
Developer contributions will be required from all residential development on sites of 10 or more dwellings or where the combined floor space is more than 1,000 sq. m. The Council will have regard to the whole development site in applying the site size threshold, regardless of whether applicants seek to subdivide, fragment or phase proposals.
The NPPF requires Councils to set their own policies where affordable housing is needed and sets out a requirement to undertake a strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) in order to understand and meet objectively assessed affordable housing needs.
As evidenced by the most recent SHMA and the updated Assessment of Housing Need for Coventry and Warwickshire (which included an assessment of affordable housing need in each local authority area), Warwick District has a high level of need for affordable housing. The Council's Local Plan sets out its Affordable Housing Policy requirement in Policy H2 (Affordable Housing).
For the purposes of the Council's affordable housing policy the definition of affordable housing applied is that as set out in the NPPF (Annex 2). This includes social rented, affordable rented and intermediate tenure housing provided to eligible households.
The amount of affordable housing, the form of its provision (tenure), its specific location on site and the means of delivery of the affordable element of the proposal will be subject to negotiation at the time of the planning application. The viability of the development may be a consideration in such negotiations.
It is the Council's policy position that in the majority of cases affordable housing should be provided on site in order to ensure that developments contribute towards creating mixed and balanced communities. Affordable housing should be integrated within the development and in larger developments provided in a variety of locations. The quality of the affordable housing should be such that it is not readily identified as being any different to the market housing provided.
Commuted Sums and Off-site Provision
There may however be instances where the location, setting or characteristics of the development are not compatible with delivering the type of affordable housing required. In such cases the Council and the developer may jointly agree either to use an alternative site, to be provided by the developer, for the provision of affordable housing and, or a financial contribution that is broadly the equivalent value to the cost of the developer of providing the affordable homes on –site.
The Council requires all affordable housing to be provided in perpetuity through the planning obligation agreement. In order to ensure that affordable housing continues to be available to those in housing need, and managed to acceptable standards. The Council requires the legal interest and
management of the affordable housing produced through the planning obligation to be transferred to a Registered Provider, the Council or equivalent.
Restrictions on development
When applicable there will be a restriction on commencing the development, or phases therein, until the affordable housing details (e.g. location, type etc.) have been approved by the Council, and thereafter there will be an obligation to comply with the approved details. The Council will impose
a restriction on the development or subsequent phase., preventing occupation of the private / open market units on site until such time as the affordable housing units are either completed and / or transferred to a Registered Provider (or the Council).
Detailed Supplementary Planning Guidance with regard to Affordable housing is provided on the Council's website at:- https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/downloads/file/1301/affordable_housing_spd
However, it should be noted that this is currently being updated and a replacement SPD is anticipated to become available in 2020.
Promoting sustainable development is a key focus of the adopted Local Plan. The need to consider the effects of development on air quality, and how it can contribute towards improvements and mitigate against adverse impacts, is identified as a key challenge to ensuring sustainable development. The criteria for the assessment of development proposals and the mitigation measures with regard to air pollutants is set out in detail in Air Quality and Planning Supplementary Planning Document. This can be viewed at :- https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/downloads/file/5043/air_quality_spd
Reducing travel by car and managing traffic congestion is a major challenge. Maximising the opportunity to shift from dependency on cars to sustainable modes of transport is also identified as a key policy objective.
Air quality is a particular issue in a number of specific locations within Warwick District's towns. These areas have been declared Air Quality Management Areas (AQMAs) and Clean Air Zones (CAZ). Given that transport is a primary cause of air quality issues in these places any development that may add to the problems must identify an appropriate mitigation strategy.
Local Plan Policy TR2 (Traffic Generation) requires development that results in significant negative impacts on air quality within the defined Air Quality Management Areas and Clean Air Zones on the health and wellbeing of residents in the locality to undertake necessary mitigation measures to be agreed with the County Council.
All new development within or immediately adjacent to Local AQMAs, or those with traffic routed through and AQMA may be subject to Section 106 agreements which require measures to offset increases in local pollutant emissions, and/ or make an appropriate financial contribution towards improvement measures or air quality monitoring.
The following are examples of mitigation measures that may be required: -
- Measures during the construction of new development including dust control, site monitoring and plant emissions
- Improved access to public transport
- The provision of on-site and off-site facilities for cycling and walking
- The management of car parking
- Traffic management
- Road Infrastructure
- Green Travel Plans
- Monitoring of Air Pollution
With regard to traffic, the Council will calculate the contributions sought based on the scale of the development and the trip generation for different uses. A full list of potential air quality mitigation measures can be viewed in chapter 5 of the Air Quality SPD.
Outdoor Sports Facilities
The Council recognises the important role that spatial planning has in supporting healthy lifestyles and that it is important that sufficient land is made available for outdoor sports provision. As the population of the District grows, new teams will be generated which will put stress on, or exceed current playing pitch provision.
The Adopted Local Plan sets out a range of Policies in its section on Healthy, Safe and Inclusive Communities that will assist in the delivery of additional outdoor sports facilities to cater for population growth during the plan period. The provision of outdoor sports facilities also forms an integral part of the Public Open Space SPD (adopted April 2019). This can be viewed at: - www.warwickdc.gov.uk/downloads/file/5516/public_open_space_spd
The Council's key strategy for the provision of sports pitches focuses on the ongoing development of key hubs. These hubs will require a variety of work, including but not limited to new pitches and facilities as well as improvements to existing pitches to allow for increased rates of usage. There may, however be development sites that generate demand that it is inappropriate to meet in a hub environment, and these sites will be expected to contribute towards other, appropriate projects.
To identify and quantify its need in relation to sports pitches, the Council regularly updates its Playing Pitch Strategy (PPS) that reviews team generation rates as well as the current available infrastructure capacity across a range of sports. Where a deficiency is demonstrated then a plan is put in place to address this, and it is appropriate that developments that are contributing to the increased demand contribute to the costs of providing increased infrastructure. The costs of these improvements are estimated in the PPS. The use of the Sport England calculator will also be utilised in shaping future requirements and the relevant costs.
The latest Playing Pitch Strategy was produced in 2018 and is available on the Councils website at:
Section 106 Agreements will specify necessary contributions to individual (physical) projects, however in some circumstances, the payment of a commuted sum for pitch maintenance may prove to be appropriate.
Indoor Sports Facilities
In a complementary strategy to outdoor sports provision, the Council identifies and plans for the necessary provision, expansion or improvement of indoor sports facilities across the District. Where there are identified deficiencies in provision contributions will be sought from development to finance new or make enhancements to existing indoor sports facilities.
The Council periodically refreshes its evidence used to underpin the production of an Indoor Sports Facilities Strategy. From this study new requirements are identified and estimates of the related costs are quantified.
The latest data on indoor sports facilities is in the Indoor Sports and Leisure Strategy that can be viewed at: www.warwickdc.gov.uk/info/20733/council_policies_and_plans/388/strategies_and_policies#sports
Section 106 Agreements will specify necessary contributions to individual (physical) projects, however in some circumstances, the payment of a commuted sum for maintenance may prove to be appropriate.
There are two main types of health provision: primary and secondary (acute) health care. Primary care focuses on the treatment of minor injuries and illnesses, and deals with minor surgery and the ongoing treatment of chronic conditions these services are provided by GP'S at doctors' surgeries or health centres. Secondary care covers care, provided predominantly at hospitals for conditions that cannot be dealt with by primary care services. It includes medical and mental health services.
New residential development will be expected to contribute towards the provision of additional health care infrastructure generated by its population growth where there is insufficient existing capacity. It should be well located to serve the development. This may include financial contributions and/ or the provision of land and buildings to enable the provision of doctor's surgeries/ health centres and other health facilities to serve the local population, or the upgrading or extension of current facilities and services in some locations.
The impacts of proposed developments on health should be assessed at the earliest stage of the design process to avoid negative impacts and ensure positive health outcomes for the community as a whole. Subject to an identified need in the locality, contributions may be sought for the following health infrastructure:
New health facilities (these may be co-located with other health or social care providers);
- Construction costs for additional facilities/ extensions, adaptations or alterations which are required to meet the needs of the development
- Finance to ensure that the health services have the appropriate infrastructure available to deliver their service commitments.
Warwick District's acute and community health services are provided by the South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust (SWFT); they also provide for the healthcare needs of the population of Stratford District. Accordingly, developer contributions are also sought from residential development in both of these localities in order to enable the appropriate and timely delivery of healthcare infrastructure / services across South Warwickshire.
At the local, primary care level the NHS South Warwickshire Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) is responsible for ensuring that there is an appropriate network of NHS doctors surgeries with the necessary capacity / ability to provide for localised health care.
When planning applications are registered SWFT and the CCG will be consulted in order that they may asses and inform the District Council of any identified need for a developer contribution. In some instances, large residential allocations may require the provision of new 'bespoke' surgeries to provide local healthcare needs. In these instances, negotiations may include the necessary provision of a package of land and finance to enable a surgery to be provided.
Community Safety and Policing
Warwickshire Police is the police force that covers Warwick District. Warwickshire Police have advised that the anticipated planned growth in the District will place a significant extra demand on existing police resources. The Council will therefore require residential development (where required and appropriate), to contribute towards the delivery of infrastructure to serve new developments and mitigate against their impact upon existing police resources.
Contributions may include the following: -
- Staff set-up costs – the cost of equipping and setting up new officers required to police new communities and neighbourhoods (not salary).
- Provision of new vehicles and bikes
- Premises- contributions towards the adaption/ alterations or extension of existing premises for new officers to base themselves or work out of
- Mobile IT – provision of suitable kit and equipment to enhance the mobility and flexibility of officers when working
Requirements and contributions will be assessed on a site by site basis when a specific need or item of infrastructure that is directly related to the development is identified. The costs relating to the proposed infrastructure items or area-based initiatives will be applied proportionately to the size or the potential occupancy of the development.
Helping to secure improvements to biodiversity is one of the key roles in achieving sustainable development. The loss of habitats and species, is a key issue to be addressed as wildlife and habitats have a wide variety of positive functions that contribute to ecosystems, food provision and the regulation of climate.
National policy aims to halt the net loss of biodiversity and is striving for gains. This is reflected in Local Plan policies NE2 (Protecting Designated Biodiversity and Geodiversity Assets) and policy NE3 (Biodiversity).
New developments are required to avoid negative impacts on existing biodiversity. Where this is not possible, mitigation measures should be identified; if these are not possible on site, then they should be offset elsewhere as a compensatory measure.
Warwickshire County Council Ecology Services will assess the impact of developments on their locations. Using their biodiversity impact assessment calculator, a Biodiversity Impact score is produced if it indicates that there will be a net loss of then mitigation via an offsetting scheme will be required.
The offsetting scheme will require the identification of an alternative (receptor site or sites) accompanied by a management plan for the provision and maintenance over a minimum of a thirty- year period. If no alternative sites can be provided, then the developer can enter into agreement with the County Council to fund improvements to a site promoted by the County Council.
Further information regarding biodiversity offsetting can be obtained from the County Council at:
Open Space and Green Infrastructure
The Local Plan seeks to ensure that new development safeguards and enhances the area's existing Green Infrastructure by creating new, and improving the quality and capacity of existing open spaces as well as connectivity within the green spaces network.
Residential as well as certain employment development employing over 100 full time equivalent employees), will be expected to contribute to the quality of Warwick District's open spaces and green infrastructure networks. The amount and type of contribution will be proportionate to the scale of the development and the likely impact on the local open spaces/ green spaces network.
The Local Plan policy position regarding the protection, provision and maintenance of open spaces and sport / recreational facilities is set out in Policies HS1 to HS7.
Each development site represents unique opportunities for open space provision and applicants should engage with officers of the District Council's Development Management team and Green Spaces team at an early stage in the planning process.
Residential and appropriate non- residential development should comply with the open space standards that are detailed in the Public Open Space Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) that was approved in April 2019. This SPD gives very detailed guidance on how the Council will seek physical and financial contributions towards the creation and maintenance of open spaces (of various typologies).
It is the ambition of the SPD to ensure that new development brings forward public open space that reflects and replicates the District's historical levels of open space. In doing so it will ensure that existing and emerging communities have appropriate levels of access to high quality green space networks.
The Public Open Space Supplementary Planning Document also includes details regarding playing pitch requirements, areas for play and social interaction for children and youths, allotments and sustainable urban drainage schemes. Information regarding the design and management of such assets is also included as well as template Section 106 Agreements.
Specific guidance on the adoption/transfer, management and maintenance requirements relating to open space and SuDS are set out in the SPD and are a very important consideration that should be addressed and agreed early in the planning process.
A link to this document is found below:
Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS)
There are areas in the District that have been identified as being at risk of flooding. Flood risk arises from rivers, canals, sewers, surface water and ground water. Policies FW1 and FW2 of the
adopted Local Plan seek to manage and reduce flood risk by using a sequential testing approach to development.
Developers will therefore have to demonstrate that account has been taken of flood risk from all sources, and that the proposed development incorporates mitigation and management measures appropriate to the use and its location. The Council also requires developers to improve water efficiency and reduce surface water run-off through the use of a range of Sustainable Drainage Systems (SuDS).
Details of the requirements associated with the provision of SuDS is located within the Council's Public Open Space SPD (April 2019). https://www.warwickdc.gov.uk/downloads/file/5516/public_open_space_spd
Flood defence measures that may be deemed necessary to a development to mitigate specific impacts of that development, (including SuDS) will normally be sought through a planning condition. However, in certain circumstances a section 106 agreement may be required.
Education (including primary, secondary, pre-school, further education and special needs education)
The NPPF (paragraph 72) states that the Government attaches great importance to ensuring that sufficient choice of school places is available to meet the needs of existing and new communities. This approach is further developed in the adopted Local Plan as it is accepted that housing proposals will generate the need for additional educational capacity for all age groups and to support those pupils with special educational needs.
Warwickshire County Council (WCC) has a statutory responsibility to ensure that there are sufficient school and childcare places available to local children and young people living within the county of school age and whose parents want their children to be educated by the state. It is important that these places are available within a reasonable travel distance for all those of school age occupying new residential development. Warwick District has worked with WCC to establish future requirements that include adding capacity to existing schools and where necessary, the planning and delivery of new schools. Much of this is itemised in the Council's Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
Residential developments will be required to contribute towards the provision of educational infrastructure where there is not enough spare capacity in existing appropriate schools to meet the needs generated by the development. This may include financial contributions and / or the provision of land and buildings to enable new schools to be provided or for existing schools to be extended.
Developments which are of such a scale as to require the provision of a new school will be expected to fully fund the most appropriate size of school which would be sufficient to accommodate the projected pupil generation. Where a new school is serving the needs of multiple developments, the cost of the school will be shared proportionately across the relevant developments.
Where a new development is proposed in an area with sufficient projected capacity, no financial contribution will be required; however, where the proposed development would result in insufficient projected capacity a contribution will be required. If there is insufficient capacity to accommodate the increase in pupils likely to be generated by a development and the development itself cannot enable the necessary provision, then Warwickshire County Council will raise objection to the development.
It is in the interests of the developer and to potential residents to ensure that schools are able to accommodate the additional pupils generated by their development. It is recommended that
developers contact the County Council's education team at the earliest possible stage to ascertain whether there would be a requirement for additional education provision within the locality of their proposed development.
In circumstances where it is not possible to provide school places within a reasonable walking distance an additional contribution towards the cost of providing transport for children to school may be required. The contribution will reflect the cost of providing the transport for a defined period of time.
It must be stipulated that this is a fall –back position that will be reluctantly utilised (as the overriding majority of new development should be in suitable sustainable locations with acceptable levels of access to schools).
The planning policy approach for seeking contributions from appropriate development is set out in Policy DM1 – Infrastructure Contributions that defines the general approach of seeking contributions to provide school places at existing or expanded schools. Policy DS12 specifically allocates land for new schools required to support the large scale housing growth at Kenilworth and South of Warwick and Leamington.
The requirement to consider contributions towards educational facilities will apply to all urban and rural residential developments which are likely to generate demand for school places. Contributions will not be sought from studio or one bedroom dwellings, institutional accommodation exclusively for undergraduate students or from sheltered/ elderly housing and other specialist housing developments where children will not live.
Highways / Transport
It is critical to the successful and sustainable growth of Warwick District that transport improvements are delivered. Warwickshire County Council (WCC) is responsible for the maintenance of the local highway network within Warwick District. WCC also produces the Warwickshire Local Transport Plan and is responsible for traffic management and road safety as well as further responsibilities in relation to public transport, school transport and public rights of way. www.warwickshire.gov.uk/directory/30/publications/category/179
The Warwickshire Transport Plan provides the strategic framework for transport in the County. It sets out likely transport infrastructure requirements and priorities for Warwick District aimed at tackling congestion, promoting sustainable travel, safer roads, improving public health and wellbeing, and improving the street environment. Specific schemes are itemised in the Warwick District Infrastructure Delivery Plan.
The District Council's strategy, as set out in the adopted Local Plan for managing growth is to locate development in sustainable locations and identify appropriate and deliverable measures to meet the transport needs of the District. The transport objectives of the policies included in the Local Plan
(policies TR1 to TR5) are consistent with the Local Transport Plan and focus on a number of high priority options, including;
- Improvements to buses and rail developments
- Improvements to major congestion hotspots
- Cycle parking and cycle and pedestrian routes to key destinations
- Better integration of transport and land uses planning to reduce the need to travel
- Improved public transport information
- Improved pedestrian crossing facilities
- School / business travel plans
- Improvements to the Rights of Way Network
All new developments will be required to provide financial and / or in-kind contributions to mitigate the transport impacts of the development. This will support delivery of the infrastructure and services needed to facilitate travel by sustainable modes. It will also enable improvements to be made to the local and strategic road and rail networks.
Where there is likely to be a transport impact there will be a requirement for developers to support any planning application with a Transport Assessment (TA). The type and level of any contributions towards transport infrastructure provision will be considered in the TA and negotiated with the Highway Authority (WCC).
Detailed technical pre-application discussions with WCC on the transport assessment are essential for major developments.
Direct infrastructure provision, financial and other contributions (including those for bus services) towards mitigating measures will be included in a planning obligation (Section 106) The implementation of any physical changes to the highway network required to accommodate, or mitigate the effects of a proposal will be managed through a highways agreement with the Highway Authority (Section 278 Agreement). For major schemes it will be necessary to define the highways agreements at the time planning permission is granted. In such cases the highways agreement will be referred to in, and linked to, the planning agreement. This will ensure certainty and transparency of implementation requirements and costs for all parties.
In addition to local transport mitigation, S106 contributions will be required for strategic transport schemes (identified in the IDP) related to the impacts of cumulative growth.
Developers may also be required to prepare and agree the content and implementation of a Travel Plan to mitigate the impact of a development on the transport system and environment. This will be a standard requirement for major developments and depending on the nature of the development, the Plan may be secured by either a condition or planning obligation. Travel Plans for major development will normally include targets for modes of travel to and from the site and monitoring arrangements.
There will be a need for financial commitments and incentives and/ or penalties for non-compliance
In instances where a development may be served by a road that is not to be adopted, the Council will require agreement to be put in place to enable access for Council refuse collection and for the necessary maintenance and management of Council adopted open space, SuDS etc.
Development and delivery of Local Employment and Training Strategies – Local Labour Agreements
Warwick District Council will support and promote the use of local people and business through the construction and implementation stages of proposals, particularly major proposals that generate significant levels of employment through the development phase.
It will seek agreement with developers to secure appropriate planning obligations for employment and training initiatives as part of development proposals.
In common with most other local authorities, applications for major development to Warwick DC will be expected to develop and implement an 'Employment and Skills Plan' (ESP) identifying opportunities for employment and up-skilling of local people through the implementation of the development.
These ESP's will support the priority aims of Supporting Prosperity and Sustainable Communities that the District Council has identified in the emerging local plan and corporate policy documents.
An ESP will be required for developments that are for 100 (or more) dwellings or 5000 sq.m (or more) of commercial development.
This Policy is to be adopted to ensure that:
Local people benefit from new job opportunities created by major developments in the District. Local people are provided with opportunities to gain skills needed for employment in growth industries.
Local people have access to lifelong-learning and the promotion of "learning communities1". The environmental impact of unnecessary travel is minimised by maximising local employment opportunities.
The Council will ask developers to prepare and submit an ESP as part of the planning process and it will be subject to discharge post-decision through the use of appropriate conditions.
Delivery would be via s106 (discussed pre-submission and prior to determination – planning permission will be granted subject to the completion and signing of a s106 in cases where agreement is outstanding at the time of determination).
If a development qualifies, the applicant will be asked to liaise with the Council's Economic Development Team, to determine the content of the ESP and help the applicant network with appropriate partners in the community such as colleges / schools, jobcentres, training bodies etc. ESP details will be subject to negotiation on a site-by-site basis. Companies with established training programmes will be able to have them taken into account.
The ESP may refer to opportunities being provided both during the construction phase (for the developer and subcontractors) and the occupation phase (primarily in the case of commercial developments and therefore aimed at the occupier). There may also be cases where a financial contribution towards support agencies may discharge relevant elements of the ESP.
The objectives of this plan are to:
- Demonstrate the use of local labour from within the developer's project team and the wider company;
- Where feasible (economically and practically), procure goods and services from local contractors;
- Encourage sub-contractors and suppliers to support employment from the local community;
- Demonstrate recruitment and training opportunities within the contractor's company;
- Provide opportunities for local residents to access jobs created during the construction phase of the development and subsequent occupation;
- Reduce economic inactivity in the local area, and
1A learning community is a group of people who share common academic goals and attitudes, who meet semi-regularly to collaborate on classwork. Such communities have become the template for a cohort-based, interdisciplinary approach to higher education.
- Support the development of skills within the local community Contents of the ESP can include:
- Recruitment through Jobcentre Plus and other local employment vehicles;
- Work trials and interview guarantees to those attending jobs clubs;
- Pre-employment training;
- Vocational Training (NVQ);
- Work experience (14-16 years, 16-19 years and 19+ years);
- School, college and university site visits;
- Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) Cards;
- Supervisor training;
- Leadership and Management Training;
- Support with transport, childcare and work equipment;
- In-house training schemes; &
- Financial support to pre-employment jobs clubs [etc.].
Previous ESP's for applications within Warwick District have included (but not exclusively):
- Financial Support for an Employee Support "Gold Programme" for the removal of barriers to Employment;
- Financial Support for Jobs Clubs to enhance opportunities for local unemployed;
- Support for Jobs Clubs and guarantees for interviews for those accessing the jobs clubs;
- Support for, and attendance at, annual Jobs Fair (where appropriate);
- The encouragement of suppliers to buy and employ locally;
- The creation of training opportunities and apprenticeships;
- Supporting local unemployed people to reskill (including CSCS or safety certs) with local providers e.g.: Warwickshire College;
- 16-19 years – skills/training transition into work;
- Site visits for Warwickshire College Construction course students;
- Advertising job vacancies through jobs clubs and JCP for a period before they go on general release;
- Contractors: to seek to employ labour locally;
- To encourage subs to look to hire machinery and operators (eg: excavators, road sweepers, etc.) from local plant hire firms;
- Encourage sub-contractors to liaise with local training providers;
- Offer of apprenticeships to locals;
- Operate local workshops in conjunction with JCP and college to advise potential applications on how to prepare for job applications and interviews;
- Partner with local training providers to equip local candidates with the skills required pre- employment;
- Promote job opportunities through other avenues.
A Pro forma for Local Labour Agreement and further information is attached to this SPD as Appendix 2 (below).
The list of types of Infrastructure and developer contributions required set out above should not be considered exhaustive as there may be situations where other contributions will be sought towards mitigating the impact of a specific development. In these instances, specific obligations will be negotiated on a case by case basis between the applicant, The Council and any other relevant third party.