A Dundee housebuilder will no longer be required to pay towards an extension of a nearby primary school after a successful appeal.
Stewart Milne Homes argued that because Ballumbie Primary is someway short of full capacity, the extension is not needed and it should not need to contribute around £380,000 towards it.
The payment would have worked out at just under £5,000 per dwelling for the housebuilders’ 76 homes at Ballumbie Rise, near Ballumbie Castle Golf Club.
A reporter from the Scottish Government’s planning appeals division sided with the developer and ruled the condition must be removed.
Primary school at 65% capacity
Ballumbie Primary is around a mile away from the new neighbourhood on the edge of Dundee, which consists of two, three, four, and five-bedroom homes.
Dundee City Council had passed the firm’s planning application on the stipulation it would need to pay to ensure the school was big enough to accommodate the increase in population.
But it is currently at just 65% capacity — equating to just over 400 pupils.
The Scottish Government had previously also removed the condition for the same contributions for the second stage of the development, consisting of 150 homes. These are yet to be built.
A spokesperson for Stewart Milne Group said: “Within the findings of our successful appeal for the second phase at Ballumbie, the reporter determined that no education contributions were deemed necessary due to the school not being at capacity.
“The previously stated obligations for education contributions in relation to the first phase of Ballumbie have now also been removed as our development will not have an impact on school provision that justifies any capital expenditure.
“Ballumbie has been a very popular development with significant local demand and we’re pleased to be adding to this flourishing community with more new, high quality family homes on this attractive and highly sought-after site.”
The fees, often described as a “roof tax”, are common for larger developments where amenities may be under pressure due to the increase in residents.
As well as extending schools, they are also earmarked for improving roads, pavements, and greenspace or building features such as playparks.