Planning obligations are legal obligations entered into to mitigate the impacts of a development proposal. Planning obligations to provide or contribute towards new infrastructure associated with a development are also commonly referred to as 'section 106' agreements.

We are making changes to how we deal with planning obligations / section 106 agreements to improve the decision-making process on planning applications.

As a key part of the new process, draft heads of terms for planning obligations will now be required at the validation stage of relevant applications. The submission of the draft heads of terms at this stage will help prevent delays in finalising those planning applications that are granted subject to the completion of planning obligation agreements.

Relevant applications where draft heads of terms will be required will normally include applications for all major development or schemes where there are any off-site mitigation measures identified, most notably when off-site highway improvements are required. Further details can be found by visiting the planning obligations draft heads of terms page and in the local policies and supplementary planning documents (SPDs).

A model heads of terms template for planning obligations has been prepared. This template may be negotiable and can be adapted to suit the specific circumstances of each case.

In order to resolve the content of draft heads of terms for planning obligations, applicants are strongly encouraged to use our pre-application advice service. Pre-application discussions can prevent delays in finalising those planning applications that are granted subject to the completion of planning obligation agreements.

Work is also commencing on an update of the supplementary planning guidance on the provision of open space and village halls.

Page last updated 08/06/2020