Dundee City Council receives over £1 million in ‘roof tax’ from developers

© DC ThomsonDeveloper contributions are paid in planning applications such as for the Western Gateway, Denhead (pictured)
Developer contributions are paid in planning applications such as for the Western Gateway, Denhead (pictured)

Dundee City Council has banked over £1 million in roof tax in the last two years from developers.

The council say the money is earmarked for specific purposes, principally on primary education where increased school capacity is required to meet the demands of a proposed development.

In 2017/18 £865,000 was contributed on top of a further £241,000 in 2016/17.

No contributions were made in the previous financial year.

The cash commitment, often called a ‘roof tax’ or ‘developer contributions’, must meet strict tests set out by the Scottish Government.

The conditions are attached to planning permissions such as large-scale housing developments which can often put extra strain on existing local amenities in an area.

Exactly what these conditions are is outlined by the council to ensure any potential cost of improving or building amenities is shared by developers.

These most often include education provision, road junction improvements and other off-site road works as well as public transport provision, waste facilities, open
space improvements, green infrastructure and public art.

Local community councils are also given the chance to give input on whether a plan could require developer contributions.

Will Dawson, convener of the council’s planning committee, said it is a “responsible” commitment for developers to contribute to the wider community.

He said: “It can be quite vital.

“If you have a large housing development for instance, then this money can help boost the wider area.

“It can contribute to infrastructure for schools and improve transport links.

“It’s responsible and it can help a developing area become a community and thrive.”

City-wide, all developments over £1 million in construction value are required to allocate at least 1% of construction costs for the inclusion of public
art projects in a publicly accessible/visible place(s) within the
development.

The council’s Local Development Plan states the areas of Whitfield, Eastern Dundee, and Dundee Western Gateway all require additional specific contributions to be made.

The news comes as the council is urged to use its developer contributions to build a new primary school at the Western Gateway as soon as possible.

Hundreds of new homes are being built on the western edge of Dundee, just north of the A90.

Labour Lochee councillor Michael Marra said the main concern of local residents is the “lack of education provision”.

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