Planning Obligations SPD

Ended on the 30th September 2015
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Chapter 7: Community Facilities

7.1. What is a Community Facility?

7.1.1. For the purposes of this SPD a community facility is defined as a building or space where community led activities for community benefit are held. Community facilities can be located in a wide range of venues. These can include purpose-built structures such as community centres, sports centres and clubs and village halls, as well as adapted venues, including: historic listed buildings, converted houses, flats, shops, scout huts and rooms or halls attached to faith buildings.

7.2. Justification

7.2.1. Successful and sustainable communities are those where there are a good choice of social, cultural, youth and sporting activity often provided by community organisations. Harborough District has a range of providers of community, sporting and play facilities, often delivered through the voluntary sector. New development can often impact considerably on the demand for new facilities in a largely rural area.

7.2.2. Adequate provision of and capacity in local facilities (e.g. community centres of a size to accommodate activities for all community members which include Children & Young people, families, adults and older people) is essential in order to meet the needs of purchasers and occupiers. Financial contributions will be sought and pooled to meet the following types of capital projects:

  • Community Centre development/expansion;
  • Community Safety schemes;
  • Youth provision;
  • Access improvements;
  • Community and voluntary sector facilities e.g. Scout Halls, Church Halls etc.;
  • Sports provision;

7.2.3. Developments of for example, over 1,000 dwellings may generate the need for a new multi purpose community hall or other new community facilities as a resource to meet the needs of the new community. In this circumstance, a developer would be expected to make a contribution which may take the form of a suitable site and meet the construction costs of a new building to a specification agreed at the time of application.

7.2.4. Much of the development in Harborough District is at a smaller scale yet should still be expected to similarly contribute to community needs generated by additional development, by helping to expand or develop existing levels of provision. At the time of a planning application being received, relevant Officers will be consulted and will be asked to confirm and provide the evidence of need for additional community facilities in the area arising from the proposed development

7.2.5. The Council has developed and adopted the following standards for Harborough District based on the infrastructure, use and likely requirement. They are based on general recommendations stemming from Sport England, and local requirements for the proposed settlement hierarchy:

  • Population of less than 1000 - Village hall with 1court badminton hall;
  • Population of 2000 - 6000 - Village hall including a 2 court badminton hall;
  • Population of 6000 - 10,000 - Village hall, 4 court badminton hall and other facilities; and
  • Population of greater than 10,0000 - various community and sports facilities, including pool, arts facilities and community meeting halls.

(Source Assessment of Local Community Provision and Developer Contribution - 2010)

7.3. Usage of Community Facilities Funding

7.3.1. The Community Facilities funding can be used to support:

  • Upgrading of current community facilities; to increase their use;
  • New community facilities;
  • Extensions of community facilities;
  • Feasibility studies (associated with identified and evidenced capital projects);
  • Professional costs (associated with identified and evidenced capital projects);
  • Refurbishment of community facilities to increase their use;
  • Provision of disabled facilities;
  • Improvement of access to community facilities; and
  • Provision of facilities which will enable the hall to diversify its use and so making it more sustainable.

7.4. Level of Contribution

7.4.1. The level of contribution is based on the Sport England Sport Facility Calculator. This calculator is updated regularly; therefore monetary guidance cannot be included within this document. (For reference, as of March 2015 contributions per person were calculated as £323, omitting Artificial Turf Pitches).

The calculator can be found at: download the sports facility calculator

7.4.2. One of the S106 Developer Contribution Test requires that the any developer contribution must be fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind tothe development. Thus a one bedroom property is likely to require less village hall facilities than a five bedroom property; this is reflected within the charges. Using information provided by the District Council on the number of assumed residents for various sized dwellings, the table below has been formulated. Therefore developer contributions are calculated by multiplying assumed number of residents by the varying house types, this establishes an increased population estimate which can be inputted into the Sports Facility Calculator.

No. of bedrooms






Assumed no. of residents






Please note: depending on the development and area, greater financial contributions may be sought to fill the identified needs. We are also in the process of developing a District Facilities Strategy which will be referred to this document once it is completed (completion estimation date Sept 2015).

7.5. Implementation

7.5.1. The Council operates a community led approach to allocating funding for community projects and off site recreation contributions to take account of community needs and aspirations which occur directly at the time when the development is proceeding and that are directly related to the development concerned. An application system to a Grants Panel operates and further details are contained in the document "Section 106 Funding Guidance Notes for Community Facilities and Off Site Recreation" available via the Section 106 Guidance

(8) Question 30:

Do you have any comments to make about Community Facilities Contributions?

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