Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options) October 2010

Draft Core Strategy (incorporating Preferred Options)

Planning Obligations

4.71 Detailed advice on the use of obligations is provided now by the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations,[1] which came into force on 6th April 2010. These regulations place into law, for the first time, the tests for securing planning obligations previously set out in Circular 5/05. This seeks to "reinforce the purpose of planning obligations in seeking only essential contributions which are better suited to use of CIL" (Para 61 CIL Overview).[2] It is now unlawful for a planning obligation to be taken into account when determining planning applications, whether or not the authority has introduced a CIL or not, unless the following 3 tests are met:

a) Necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms
b) Directly related to the development; and
c) Fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

4.72 On 25 March 2010, the Deptartment of Communities and Local Government also published a consultation document seeking views on a new policy document on the use of planning obligations. In its final form, this policy document is intended to replace Circular 05/05: Planning Obligations and form an annex to the new Development Management Planning Policy Statement on which the Government launched a consultation on 21 December 2009.

4.73 Use of CIL or a similar tariff based approach, will allow for extending the scope for which contributions can be sought in a more general way and is being considered partly due to the inability of the current system to contribute effectively to large infrastructure needs, particularly where there has been the incremental effect of a number of developments in a locality. Sound infrastructure plans are needed to support the Local Development Framework and to provide a robust base for developing planning obligations, and are a pre-requisite to introducing a tariff based charge.

4.74 In the Overview document which accompanied the Statutory Instrument, the Government advises that local planning authorities who wish to levy CIL will need to set out the CIL rates in a charging schedule. This will not form part of the statutory development plan but will sit alongside other documents within the LDF. The Council already has in place a Protocol for Planning Obligations, adopted on 15th June 2006. This currently provides guidance and clarity in relation to common place obligations which are sought in relation to residential development, namely:-

  • Affordable Housing
  • On site open space and play requirements
  • Strategic sport and leisure facilities
  • Education
  • Travel Plans
  • Renewable energy
  • Adoption and Maintenance Agreements

4.75 Highways and drainage improvements are an essential element of any scheme, and do not fall within the scope of the current Protocol but will form an integral part of discussions in the formulation of major development proposals. It is the intention that the current Protocol for Planning Obligations will be used to form the basis of a future charging schedule and all existing obligations will be reassessed as part of that document.

4.76 The Council are preparing an Infrastructure Delivery Plan (IDP) with partners and infrastructure providers, which will be regularly monitored and reviewed, forming the basis of site specific requests for infrastructure as part of development proposals. The Council are awaiting clarification of the Government's intentions on CIL prior to undertaking further work on a CIL schedule or local tariff.

4.77 Until a tariff based approach or CIL schedule has been adopted, the Council will seek to ensure deliver of necessary infrastructure through use of planning obligations under S106 Agreements.[3]

Policy SS7 Planning Obligations

Planning obligations will be sought to secure a range of house types and community infrastructure in line with the appropriate policies in the Core Strategy. These will include but not be limited to:-
  • Affordable housing
  • renewable energy provision and reduction in CO2 emissions
  • provision and enhancement of open space and outdoor playing space
  • providing for and improving accessibility within the District by a variety of modes of sustainable transport
  • improvements to biodiversity assets
  • road and highways improvements
  • community facilities
Planning obligations may also be sought, where appropriate, from developments to contribute to the delivery of strategic infrastructure to enable the cumulative impacts of developments to be managed in a sustainable and effective manner. These will include, but will not be limited to:
  • primary, secondary and tertiary education and extended services provision to serve new and existing communities
  • strategic sports and cultural provision and enhancement
  • strategic road and highway improvements
The infrastructure will where necessary be coordinated and delivered in partnership with other authorities and agencies.

1. SI No. 948, 2010 Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 [back]
2. Community Infrastructure Levy An Overview, CLG March 2010. Crown Copyright [back]
3. refers to Section 106 (S106) of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 [back]