Section 106 planning obligations

Planning obligations explained

Planning obligations, often referred to as section 106 agreements, are a key mechanism in the planning system for making acceptable development which would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. They are used to achieve planning objectives, mitigate the impact of development and/or compensate for loss or damage caused by development. Whilst planning obligations are unlikely to be required for all kinds of development they can nevertheless be requested on a development of any size or type.

Examples covered by such agreements include the provision of affordable housing within new development; off-site play and open space, off-site highway or drainage improvements or financial contributions to upgrade local schools, local health services and other facilities so the community can cope with increased population arising from a development.

The term 'planning obligation' can relate to two things:

  1. A bilateral or multilateral agreement between a party/parties with an interest in the land (the 'developer') and the council whereby all parties legally commit to do certain things
  2. A unilateral undertaking made by the developer to which just the developer agrees

In both cases the planning obligation must be executed as a deed and shall identify:

  • The land in which the person entering into the obligation is interested
  • The person entering into the obligation and their interest in the land (all parties with an interest in the land concerned should be party to the planning obligation)
  • The local planning authority by whom the obligation is enforceable
  • That the obligation is a planning obligation for the purposes of section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990

A planning obligation runs with the land, which means that successive owners are bound by the terms of the planning obligation. As a consequence, the obligations may be enforced against both the original owner and against successors in title.

Last updated: 20/01/2016 15:02

 

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