Section 106 Obligations

Section 106 agreements are arrangements between applicants for planning permission and the local planning authority. They are usually used to secure financial contributions towards infrastructure improvements without which the development would not be acceptable. Obligations may also be used to restrict the use of the development, for example preventing an annex from being sold separately from the main property.

In recent years they have also been used frequently to secure the provision of affordable housing.

Although being largely replaced by the Community Infrastructure Levy (a fixed tariff rather than a negotiated figure), section 106 agreements will still be used, particularly to secure affordable housing.

As section 106 obligations are legal documents it is preferable that they are prepared by someone with legal training and experience of dealing with planning obligations. Whilst many local planning authorities produce standard form obligations, these need to be treated with a degree of caution and possibly amended to reflect the circumstances of a particular case. It is dangerous simply to “fill in the blanks”.

It is also necessary to show that the applicant has an “interest” in the land to be subject to the obligation, and that all parties with an interest in the land enter into the obligation. Again, these are legal, rather than planning, issues.

As section 106 obligations address issues without which the development would be unacceptable in planning terms they are unlikely to be required for small developments.

Where obligations are required I accept direct instructions to prepare them, but in most cases I prepare such obligations at the behest of other non-legally qualified consultants. I am prepared to prepare section 106 obligations on a fixed cost basis. For further details of fees click here.

If your property is subject to a section 106 obligation I can also advise on the possibility of having it varied or removed, for example if you are finding it difficult to find buyers for the property because of section 106 restrictions.