Legal agreements (S106)

What is a S106 agreement?

Section 106 (S106) agreements, which are also known as planning obligations, are legal agreements made between local authorities and developers/landowners.  S106 agreements are designed to address issues that developments may place on local infrastructure or impose restricts.

A local authority may require that a S106 Agreement is entered into where the following tests are met

  • The planning obligation is necessary to make a development acceptable in planning terms
  • The planning obligation is directly related to the development
  • The planning obligation is fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to a development

Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 provides that a planning obligation under a S106 Agreement can

  • restrict the development or use of the land in any specified way
  • require specified operations or activities to be carried out in, on, under or over the land
  • require the land to be used in any specified way, or
  • require a sum or sums to be paid to the local authority on a specific date or periodically

A Unilateral Agreement is also a S106 but the Council is not a party to the agreement, these are used to secure matters such as the Thames Basin Heath SPA and SAMM contributions.

A planning obligation may be unconditional or subject to conditions and may impose restrictions or requirements indefinitely or for specific periods.  Examples of planning obligations include a requirement for payment towards infrastructure such as access roads or towards other community projects such as schools or parks as well as obligations to provide community facilities such as a park, green space or for a specific number of dwellings to be affordable housing dwellings within a development site.

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