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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:
- Encouraging collaborative working between the applicant, the local planning authority, and third parties (where appropriate, third parties such as statutory consultees may be a party to the agreement).
- Establishing a transparent process for determining applications.
- Acting as focus for pre-application discussions.
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.
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.
 Find out more
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
- Detailed planning application.
- Development management.
- Environmental impact assessment.
- National Planning Policy Framework.
- National Planning Practice Guidance.
- Neighbourhood planning.
- Outline planning application.
- Permitted development.
- Planning appeal.
- Planning authority.
- Planning conditions.
- Planning enforcement.
- Planning fees.
- Planning objection.
- Planning obligations.
- Planning permission.
- Pre-application advice.
- Section 106 agreement.
- Statutory consultees.
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