Planning obligations under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended), commonly known as S106 agreements, are a mechanism which make a development proposal acceptable in planning terms, that would not otherwise be acceptable. They are focused on site specific mitigation of the impact of development. S106 Agreements are often referred to as ‘developer contributions’ along with highway contributions and the Community Infrastructure Levy.
The common uses of planning obligations are to secure affordable housing, and to specify the type and timing of this housing; and to secure financial contributions to provide infrastructure or affordable housing. However these are not the only uses for an S106 obligation. An S106 obligation 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 authority (or, to the Greater London Authority) on a specified date or dates or periodically.
The Section 106 Agreement for the area on the Grange Park estate specifies that Charnwood Borough Council will purchase the land for £1 if a viable, long-term development can be found for the site. However, if after a 10-year period the land has not been built upon, it reverts to the developer for housing.