Planning Obligations

Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act provides an applicant who is also the owner of the land, an opportunity to voluntarily enter into an agreement with the Local Planning Authority called a Planning Obligation.

Such agreements can be used to:

  • Restrict the development or use of the land in any specified way
  • Require specific operations or activities to be carried out in, on, over or under the land
  • Require the land to be used in a specific way
  • Require a sum, or sums, to be paid to the Authority on a specified date or dates or periodically.

Such an agreement has to meet the tests of reasonableness in that:

  • It is needed from a practical point of view to enable the development to go ahead
  • In the case of financial payment, it will contribute to meeting the cost of providing such facilities in the near future
  • It is necessary from a planning point of view and is otherwise so directly related to the proposed development and to the use of the land after its completion that the development ought not to be permitted without it.

The range of such agreements is wide and may be used to gain an element of affordable housing within a scheme, the provision of road improvements that are only needed as a result of the proposed development or even “giving up” other uses within the Use Classes Order or within the normal Permitted Development Rights thereby restricting the development to exactly what is proposed.

This facility, which may enable a development to go ahead, is a legal one and should only be discussed with the Authority together with the help and advice of a solicitor.