DC Casebook: Community facilities - School upgrade contribution ruled out

An inspector has rejected a south Wales council's demand for a £300,000 contribution for improving education facilities after taking spare capacity in a nearby area into account.

The proposal for 100 houses required an upgrade in the capacity of a comprehensive school, the council asserted. It estimated that the scheme would generate 20 secondary school places. The appellants countered that a contribution of £50,000 was justified to enable pupils to travel by bus to another school in an adjoining local authority area with a surplus capacity of more than 300.

The inspector agreed that use of a school in another council area to cater for children living on the appeal site was risky because its capacity might change over time and preference would be given to indigenous pupils. However, he decided that it would be more efficient to make best use of the school's excess capacity. On that basis, the appellants' contribution was judged reasonable.

DCS Number 100-069-470

Inspector Clive Nield; Hearing.

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