Last edited 27 Mar 2015

Planning performance agreement

Planning performance agreements are voluntary undertakings that enable local planning authorities and applicants for planning permission to agree the timescales, actions and resources necessary to process a planning application. They are not intended to be legally-binding contracts, but are in the spirit of a ‘memorandum of understanding’.

They must be agreed before an application is submitted, and can cover the pre-application, application and post-application stages.

Planning performance agreements can be helpful in:

They can be used for any application, but are particularly suited to large or complex applications. The structure of the agreement is determined by the local planning authority and the applicant, but depending on the complexity of the project may include:

  • The status of the agreement.
  • A shared vision.
  • An agreed timetable.
  • Development objectives.
  • Responsibility for tasks.
  • A programme for the negotiation of section 106 agreements and related non-planning consents.
  • Voluntary payments to assist with any abnormal costs associated with processing the application.

Local planning authorities may charge for additional administrative work involved in the planning performance agreement.

The existence of a planning performance agreement means that the statutory time limits for determining the application no longer apply. If the local planning authority fails to determine the application by the agreed date, then the applicant may appeal, however, the agreement should be sufficiently flexible to allow for changes in circumstances.

The parties to the agreement are encouraged to make it publicly available.

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