Section 106 consultation
Section 106 agreements, also known as ‘planning obligations’ are obligations attached to land that is the subject of a planning permission. They are used to mitigate or compensate for the negative impacts of a development or to prescribe the nature of a development. They are intended to make acceptable developments which would otherwise be unacceptable.
On 20 February 2015 the Department for Communities and Local Government (CLG) launched a consultation on Section 106 agreements. Ref Gov.uk, Section 106 planning obligations - speeding up negotiations.
Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis MP said, “Section 106 planning agreements can bring great benefits to local communities but too often they drag out planning applications for months. That’s why today I’m proposing measures that will speed up the process, get planning permissions granted quicker and workers on site earlier, all the while keeping the community benefits that these agreements can bring.” Ref Gov.uk, New measures will speed up housebuilding.
The proposals included:
- Setting time limits so that section 106 negotiations are completed in line with the 8 to 13 week target for planning applications.
- Requiring parties to start discussions at the beginning of the planning application process, rather than towards the end.
- Establishing a dispute resolution process where negotiations stall.
- Using standardised documents to avoid agreements being drafted from scratch for each application.
- Potential legislation in the next Parliament to enforce the new measures.
- Section 106 negotiations should be completed within the 8-13 week time limit for determining applications, unless agreed by the parties.
- Planning authorities should use standard forms and templates.
- Discussions should take place as early as possible, including the pre-application stage.
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