Angus Council could receive a seven-figure schools windfall from the major northern housing expansion of Forfar.
After councillors earlier this year gave the green light for the residential development of nearly 18-hectares between Turfbeg and Kirriemuir Road, a key piece in the jigsaw has now been put in place with the education contribution from each new home being set.
Local firm Elite Homes is to build up to 300 homes to the west of Forfar Academy, where the new town community campus is also under construction.
The company hopes to be on site by next spring and previously told councillors they hope to complete the phased development within five years.
At the latest meeting of Angus development standards committee, councillors approved a report recommending an educational contribution of £5,100 per dwelling.
Affordable and single-bedroom housing within the new development will be excluded from the contribution demand.
Education chiefs set the levy to deal with “capacity issues” at Forfar Academy and the applicant has agreed the level of contribution.
Councillors also heard that a new arrangement is being put in place in relation to developer contributions which should streamline and speed up the process for both applicant and authority.
The requirement for education, roads, affordable housing or open space contributions is a regular feature of planning approvals, but has mainly been previously secured through a legal Section 75 agreement.
Planning chief Ian Mitchell said the authority had taken top-level legal advice and the intention is to secure the developer contribution as a planning approval condition.
“That will provide more certainty for the applicant in speeding up the process and the planning condition will run from the point of decision, rather than up to a year later when the Section 75 is issued,” said Mr Mitchell.
“This is a good move for the applicants and the council to speed up and simplify matters.”