Adur Local Plan & how it affects school provision

Adur Local Plan & how it affects school provision

What is Adur Local Plan (ALP)?

ALP (2016-2031) identifies the amount of dwellings needed to meet local Adur housing need. This feeds into South East housing need and ultimately central government’s imposed national house build quota. It covers Lancing, Sompting, Shoreham-by-Sea, Southwick and Fishersgate (excluding the South Downs National Park).

How many houses?

The plan details both potential development sites and “in build” (passed planning). ALP identifies an “objectively assessed need” for 6825 dwellings by 2031. Yet, Adur District Council (ADC) have identified only 3609 dwellings from a mix of both brownfield and greenfield sites. Therefore a shortfall of 3216 dwellings, which is likely to be rejected by Secretary of State. In addition, if LA’s fail to agree large enough dwellings to meet the “objectively based need” they can be financially fined.

Why are such a wealth of dwellings required?

As Chris’ data analysis blog shows us, a large factor called drift exists whereby neighbouring authority habitants (Brighton & Hove) are priced out of housing and are re-locating to Adur. In addition, the NPPF (National Planning Policy Framework) (created in 2012) created a new ‘soundness’ requirement to be met through the compliance with the Duty to Co-operate. In layman’s terms – ADC working with B&H CC to meet their housing needs. With such a condensed built up area such as Brighton & Hove – Adur has had to take-up some of their housing quota, Lewes District Council are doing so too.

The equation between dwellings to schools?

Unbelievably there is no statutory amount a developer has to build per dwellings. However, there is a rule of thumb that 1000 dwellings creates demand for 360 places across the primary and secondary age range (a full 1FE primary and a full 1FE secondary school). With large developments (500+) the developer will be asked to build a school. However, the housing developer can always negotiate on this factor, arguing financial viability.

The New Monks Farm development at 600 houses (as at March 2017) has a school included, due to the size of the development and the growth in need arising in the west side of Shoreham (as can be seen with the Swiss Gardens situation). One oversight of school planning with ADC planning committee is that of housing developments are being passed in isolation of each other. Therefore 4 developments may have collectively created 1000 dwellings in one area but a need for school has not identified. In these instances of smaller developments 100-300 dwellings the Housing Developer pays 106 infrastructure monies to Adur District Council towards Education (local school) infrastructure expansion (the local school needing to build extra classrooms, toilets etc to accommodate the increase in children).

What does this mean for parents?

There seems there is little point complaining about the amount of houses being built, but it will be at least 3609 and likely to rise to 5000 by 2031. But we can do something to ensure the education infrastructure needs are planned for…

What can I do to ensure education catered for?

Page 8 of ALP talks of the need for developments to provide an appropriate level of infrastructure support. Here’s our advice… for every major Adur development’s public consultation get down and ask the developers & Adur District Council planning representatives these questions (we’ve done just this ourselves and the message is getting through to ADC Planning and WSCC).

  1. What numbers are they expecting for additional school need arising from development?
  2. What provision is there in 106 infrastructure money for the nearest impacted school?
  3. What will developer do to ensure this money is ring-fenced for local school? – see Swiss Gardens example here
  4. What provision is being made for a new school (500 above development)?

Asking these questions will show the developers and Adur District Council Planning that parents have done their homework and are expecting these issues to be discussed at length at planning committee and discussed transparently with the community.

 

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