Planning obligations

Overview

Planning obligations – also known as Section 106 – are agreements that can be attached to a planning permission to make a development acceptable that would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. The agreements are between local authorities and developers.

Planning obligations have a long life. We may start negotiating with a developer about planning obligations before the developer submits a planning application. The delivery of planning obligations may come years later, especially for a large development.

Use of planning obligations

A planning obligation may be used as a reason for granting planning permission only if the obligation is:

  • necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms
  • directly related to the development
  • fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development

Where a development is needed to support the Local Plan, we may work with other public sector organisations to decide what contributions are needed to meet expected new demands on local facilities and the environment.

In generally, contributions can be used only for one-off spending, such as creating new facilities or improving existing facilities. Spending on running costs or contributions towards salary payments is not usually appropriate.

Payments from planning obligations can be supported by further private or public funding towards a development. These decisions are reached through negotiation.

Contribution spending and monitoring

We negotiate Section 106 contributions on a case-by-case basis using our Infrastructure Requirement List to decide which infrastructure projects need funding.

The law limits our ability to ask for and pool contributions towards a single type or item of infrastructure from more than 5 separate Section 106 agreements.

Once a planning obligation is completed, it is recorded in a database for monitoring. All parties must understand their obligations so they know what is required of them and when.

Developers with questions relating to their agreement should contact the planning case officer who determined the application.

We publish details of Section 106 planning infrastructure payments we receive.