As part of the consideration of a planning application, section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended) enables local authorities to negotiate with developers certain works, restrictions, or contributions towards a range of infrastructure and services. Planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), commonly known as s106 agreements, are a mechanism which make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms, that would otherwise be unacceptable. They are focused on site specific mitigation of the impact of development.
S106 agreements are often referred to as 'developer contributions' and they are commonly used to bring development in line with the objectives of sustainable development as required by local, regional and national planning policies.
Planning obligations are used to support the provision of public infrastructure to ensure that the development is sustainable. Infrastructure is the term given to the range of services, facilities and structures needed for places and society to function. New development can put a strain on existing infrastructure but can also secure new improved infrastructure and also support services and facilities which may be at risk of closure. Pressure on infrastructure caused by new development should be offset by investment funded by the developer. This may be done by:
- Additional infrastructure provided on site
- A financial contribution towards upgrade of existing facilities
- Provision of new infrastructure
Areas subject to contributions include, but are not limited to:
- Affordable housing
- Highway and transport infrastructure including sustainable transport measures
- Flood prevention and surface water drainage including future maintenance
- Green infrastructure, including future maintenance
- Health care provision
Monitoring and reporting
Regulation 10 of The Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) (England) (No. 2) Regulations 2019 which came into force on 1 September 2019, now allows local planning authorities to require a contribution in respect of the cost of monitoring in relation to the delivery of planning obligations.
Policy SP7 of the Wyre Local Plan adopted in February 2019 (WLP11-31) establishes a framework for the provision of necessary infrastructure and developer contributions through Section 106 obligations.
Regulation 9 of the above Regulations requires the Council to publish annually an Infrastructure Funding Statement which sets out details of monetary and non-monetary contributions received and spent by Wyre Council.
Drafting a section 106 agreement
The council encourages applicants to start pre-application discussions early. This will allow heads of terms of any Section 106 agreement to be agreed. The council will expect a draft agreement to be submitted with the planning application, together with proof of title of ownership of the application site.
The planning obligation is a formal document (a deed) which states that it is an obligation for planning purposes, identifies the relevant land, the person entering the obligation, their interest and the local authority that would enforce the obligation. The obligation can be a unitary obligation or multi party agreement. The obligation becomes a land charge.
In drafting the agreement, it is advised that the applicant/developer employs a solicitor. The Law Society has produced a model S106 agreement with appropriate relevant clauses, which can assist the drafting process.
The council will not either accept, or enter into a s106 agreement unless it is satisfied that the agreement is legally compliant. In this respect it will assess any draft agreement and negotiate amendments as necessary.
The council charges a fee for the legal costs involved in the preparation and production of section 106 agreements which depends on complexity. An estimate of the fees will be given by the council's legal officer.
More about planning obligations
Further information on planning obligations is set out in the Government’s National Planning Practice Guidance