Planning obligations—key points
Planning obligations—key points

The following Planning practice note provides comprehensive and up to date legal information covering:

  • Planning obligations—key points
  • What can planning obligations do?
  • Statutory tests for planning obligations
  • NPPF and planning policy and guidance
  • Planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)
  • Relationship between planning obligations and planning conditions
  • Essential first steps when negotiating a section 106 agreement
  • Formalities of planning obligations
  • Parties to a planning obligation
  • Can a landowner be required to enter a planning obligation?
  • More...

This Practice Note should be read in conjunction with Practice Notes: The statutory test for section 106 agreements and interaction with Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Drafting section 106 agreements—practical advice for developers.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): This Practice Note contains guidance on subjects potentially impacted by the government’s response to the coronavirus outbreak (see: Impact of Coronavirus (COVID-19) on planning obligations in England). For further updates on key developments and related practical guidance on the implications for lawyers, see: Coronavirus (COVID-19)—Planning and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) toolkit.

What can planning obligations do?

Planning agreements made under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (TCPA 1990), also known as planning obligations, are agreements between developers and local planning authorities (LPAs).

Planning obligations attach to a planning permission, to make acceptable development which would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. They may be used to:

  1. restrict the development or use of land

  2. require operations or activities be carried out in, on, under or over the land

  3. require the land to be used in a specified way

  4. require the payment of a sum or sums to the LPA

Each provision of a planning obligation must fall within TCPA 1990, s 106(1)(a)–(d).

The deposit of a sum of money with the LPA under a planning obligation creates a form of trust. This includes an obligation to repay sums advanced by an LPA for

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