Stirling’s Councillors have given initial approval to new guidance on developer contributions for planning applications.

The supplementary guidance provides more detail on policies in the Stirling Local Development Plan 2018 (LDP), and how they will be applied during planning decisions. As part of the LDP, the Council can seek funds from applicants to mitigate the potential impact of developments on existing infrastructure that affect the likes of education, health, transport, waste and active travel.

The revised guidance mainly updates requirements relating to education and health infrastructure.

For education, the changes will result in an increase in primary school contribution costs but a reduction for secondary settings.

Following a review by NHS Forth Valley and the Planning Authority, revised contribution rates will be sought from developers for health infrastructure. This will include the delivery of a new medical practice in the Bannockburn and Plean catchment area.

Among the other changes is an alteration to the affordable housing financial contribution following an increase in the median house price figure for the Stirling area to £172,671.

The draft guidance was given the green light at last Thursday’s (10 Feb) meeting of the Council’s Environment and Housing Committee.

A further consultation on the changes will now take place, before a finalised document will be brought back to the committee for final approval, subject to ratification from the Scottish Government.

Fair and proportionate

Convener, Cllr Jim Thomson said: “Whether it’s providing funding for affordable housing or infrastructure to meet the education, health, transport or environmental needs of residents, reasonable developer contributions are essential to the sustainable growth of our communities. 

“Having up-to-date guidance on developer contributions ensures the Council receives funding that is fair and proportionate and also provides potential developers with certainty on costs.

“The new policy is robust, comprehensive and balanced, and once it has been finalised we will have the opportunity to review down the line.”

Detail and clarity

Vice Convener, Cllr Danny Gibson said: “Ensuring we have consistent, thorough and proportionate guidance on developer contributions is a vital part of the planning process and provides transparency on decision making.

“The refreshed guidance provides more detail and clarity for developers as to their planning obligation requirements in the Stirling area.

 “It was refined following a 12-week public consultation and, due to the importance of the document, we will now go back out to the public again before arriving at the final guidance.”