Issue details

23/00041 - Policy adoption of the KCC Developer Contributions Guide

Proposed decision:

Authority for KCC to seek developer contributions that mitigate the impacts of growth on KCC service areas in accordance with the methodology and costs contained within the Developer Contributions Guide, which are in line with planning legislation and the National Planning Policy Framework.


Reason for the decision:

KCC’s existing Developer Contributions Guide (first published in 2007) is now considered to be out of date and as such the authority is at threat of increased challenges to the requests for mitigation being sought. It is necessary to update the Guide to reflect changes in legislation, policies, priorities, and costs and provide developers and Local Plan Authorities (LPAs) with clear guidance on the likely financial costs of development so that they can be factored in as they prepare Local Plans and individual planning applications.



The Guide was originally published in 2007 and has been the foundation for securing mitigation from housing development on KCC services since that time. Contributions have been sought for Highways (including PRoW), Education, Libraries, Community Learning, Youth and Adult Social Services. Changes to local and national policy have resulted in the necessity for KCC to extend the required contribution areas to include SEND education. The Guide will also formalise the current requests being sought for Waste Disposal and Recycling services. Discretionary options to allow contributions to be sought for Sustainable Drainage and Heritage & Archaeology (should planning applicants and LPAs agree), have also been included.



A ‘Do Nothing’ option was considered. However, increasing challenges from developers and LPA’s would have resulted in increased revenue and legal costs to KCC, requiring the County Council to defend contributions being sought using outdated guidance, and in some instances, insufficient mitigation towards the impact upon KCC services. In addition, a more opaque approach to the contributions being sought by KCC would have a detrimental impact on relations between KCC and its LPA’s.


The ‘Do Something option’ is as recommended in this paper and outlined in the “Reason for the decision”.


An option to include additional KCC areas was also considered. In particular, areas of Arts & Culture and Resilience & Emergency were assessed. Both officer and external legal opinion concluded that there was an insufficient evidence base to meet the CIL tests set out in Regulation 122 of The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations (2010) to seek for those areas. Whilst it is recognised that there are significant budget demands for the County Council the introduction of non-compliant areas would undermine the integrity of the Guide’s robust legal standing.


How the proposed decision supports the Strategic Plan (Framing Kents Future):

The decision would deliver a named objective of Priority 2 “Infrastructure for Communities” which sets out to achieve a basis for the Developer Contributions Guide to be material to planning decisions.


Financial Implications:

Since 2014 KCC has secured a total of £325,452,643 in financial contributions from developers towards specified services. This figure represents a cumulative achievement rate of 97% against KCC’s requests for total contributions from developers (these figures are exclusive of the value of land transferred and Highways Section 278 agreements). Whilst, this is very positive for infrastructure provision, it is not achieved without significant challenges and is just one funding stream required to cover the full cost of growth. The Growth and Infrastructure Framework has projected that a total funding of £1.6bn is expected to be delivered by development contributions between 2011 and 2031. Developer contributions play a significant part in helping to reduce the financial impact of development on KCC services.


Excluding the accountable Head of Service and Director the current staffing revenue implications of operating the Development Investment Team (DIT) that secure development contributions is £410,995.89 per annum. The team is funded through KCC’s core revenue budget. It should however be noted that the DIT provides formal responses to planning applications on behalf of KCC statutory functions and as such would in part be necessary in order to fulfil KCC’s statutory obligations. To assist in covering elements of revenue costs the team generates two streams of income generation through officer undertakings to review s106 agreements and monitoring fees available to track and process developer contribution income.  The team continues to demonstrate significant value for money operating at just 0.9% of the £47m developer contributions received last year.


The process of updating the Guide included updating the methodologies and costs associated with current delivery models. Some areas such as Adult Social Care, Community Learning and Integrated Childrens Services are now delivered through a combination of outreach and fixed infrastructure delivery and the updated Guide costs reflect that change. Overall, the newly proposed costs per new dwelling are comparable (within 3%) to those being sought prior to the review of the Guide, had inflation only been applied.  


Data Protection implications:

A DPIA was not required.   

Decision type: Key

Reason Key: Affects more than two Electoral Divisions;

Decision status: Recommendations Approved

Division affected: (All Division);

Notice of proposed decision first published: 04/05/2023

Decision due: Not before 2nd Jun 2023 by Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Lead member: Cabinet Member for Economic Development

Lead director: Stephanie Holt-Castle

Department: Growth, Environment & Transport

Contact: Colin Finch, Senior Projects Officer - CAIP East Kent Email:


The approval of a targeted public consultation on the draft of the Developer Contributions Guide was gained from Cabinet on the 1st December 2022, having previously been approved by the Growth, Economic Development and Communities Cabinet Committee. That consultation was undertaken between the 8th December 2022 and 2nd February 2023 and can be found using the following link


Growth, Economic Development & Communities Cabinet Committee consultation on the final version, as amended to address comments in the consultation, is planned for the 16th May. 

Legal implications: With the existing Guide being out of date, proceeding further without an up-to-date Guide presents reasons for challenge, both from the local planning authorities and developers. The Guide sets out the reasons for seeking contributions within the confines of the Town & Country Planning Act (1990) and Regulation 122 of the Community Infrastructure Levy and the policy/statutory status of KCC’s services. It enables KCC to justify its s106/CIL requests in a legal context.

Equalities implications: An EQIA was published prior to a draft public consultation that ended in February 2023. There were no negative impacts found relating to the review and publishing the Developer Contributions Guide.


Agenda items