What is a Planning Obligation?
A planning obligation is a legal agreement between the planning authority and the applicant/developer and any others that may have an interest in the land. An obligation either requires the developer to provide a financial contribution, physical infrastructure or a management plan in relation to their development proposals or restricts what can be done with land following the granting of planning permission.
Local and National Policy on Planning Obligations
The agreements are made under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), and enable development proposals to meet the needs of the community by securing contributions towards community infrastructure. Section 106 agreements are normally required under Policies C1 and C2 of the Basingstoke and Deane Borough Adopted Local Plan 1996-2011 (adopted July 2006). National Guidance on S106 planning obligations is set out in the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations 122 and the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) published in March 2012.
Borough Guidance on planning obligations is provided through the Section 106 - Planning Obligations and Community Infrastructure Planning Document and its associated appendices - which provides information on the legal and policy basis for negotiating planning obligations.
New Green Space standards were adopted by Cabinet 26th March 2013, and we are in the process of updating the relevant sections of the Section 106 guidance as well as the Section 106 calculator to reflect these. In the meantime please refer to the PDF below, which supersedes the following standards in the current guidance;
Parks and Kickabout standards - page 22
Standards for Local Equipped Play and Neighbourhood Equipped Play - page 23
Accessible Green Space Standards - page 24
When are Planning Obligations sought?
The borough council has considered the cumulative impact of all new residential and non-residential development on community resources in the borough and contributions will be sought on planning applications for:
- a net increase of one dwelling or more (to include the conversion of an existing dwelling to flat(s))
- commercial developments of 100 sq metres of floorspace or more
- other non residential developments may also require a contribution to transport improvements
A legal, administration and monitoring charge will also be required for all Section 106 agreements.
S106 agreement - obligations/contributions can include:
- a financial contribution towards community facilities - such as open space, play areas or for the provision of on/off site community facilities.
- a contribution to education (Children’s Services Facilities.)
- restrictions on the development of an area of land, or permit only specified operations to be carried out on it, such as the protection of parks and open spaces.
- the transfer ownership of an area of open space to the council with a suitable fee to cover its future maintenance (commuted sum).
- the developer will plant a specified number of trees and maintain them for a number of years.
- the provision of Affordable Housing within the development.
- contributions towards the enhancement of our transport infrastructure - Basingstoke Environment Strategy for Transport.
- the provision of public art.
Types of Section 106 Agreements
Self Service Agreement
The council provides a self-service Section 106 agreement option for:
- Residential developments of between 1 to 9 dwellings
- Commercial developments in use classes B1, B2, B8 of 100sq metres to 999 sq metres only
The council will scope draft copies of submitted self service agreements to ensure they comply with CIL Regulation 122.
The self-service agreements are not suitable for unregistered land, land held in trust, or for developments which require an affordable housing contribution. Bilateral s106 agreements
Appropriate in the following instances of development:
- 10 or more dwellings or
- larger commercial proposals or
- for all other non-residential developments
If your proposal does not allow for the use of the self-service option, you can ask for the application to be scoped in order for a bespoke bilateral legal agreement to be formed between yourself and the council. It is advisable to formally submit information to the council in order for the proposed development to be scoped for contributions. The council offers a pre-application service where your proposals can be scoped for any contributions arising from your proposed development. This will identify the likely level of contributions that your proposal will need to make and will identify the terms of reference for any subsequent agreement. You should be aware that bespoke agreements will result in higher legal, administration and compliance charges.
For further information concerning Section 106 agreements please contact Heike Wetzstein on 01256 845469 or email@example.com
Should you require confirmation of the discharge of a planning obligation, please contact the Proactive Compliance Technician on 01256 844 844 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Further, Best Practice Notes on Affordable Housing and Community Infrastructure, dated summer 2006, provides procedural information and model Section 106 agreements.