S106 FAQ

S106 FAQ

What is a planning obligation?

"Section 106 Agreements" and "Unilateral Undertakings" are types of Planning Obligations authorised by Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 as amended by Planning and Compensation Act 1991 Section 12.

A Section 106 Agreement is a legal agreement between the Planning Authority and the applicant/developer and any others that may have an interest in the land.

In a limited number of cases, where only the development needs to be bound by a planning obligation and not the land or developer and Planning Authority, instead of agreeing obligations through a process of discussion (negotiation and agreement) it may be acceptable and advantageous for the developer to make a unilateral offer or “unilateral undertaking” to the Planning Authority toprovide specific requirementsrelevant to their planning application.

What are planning obligations used for?

Planning Obligations are usually completed following the resolution to grant planning permission (normally major developments) to secure community infrastructure to meet the needs of residents in new developments and/or to mitigate the impact of new developments upon existing community facilities or infrastructure. They can also be used to restrict the development or use of the land in a specified way or require specific operations or activities to be carried out on the land. It should be noted that the planning permission is only issued after the completion of such obligations.

What are the costs of entering into a planning obligation?

The completion and subsequent monitoring of Planning Obligations is very time and resource consuming on local planning authorities and therefore the developer has to contribute to these costs. Monitoring Officer costs are currently a minimum of £950* or 9% of the planning application fee (whichever is the highest). This will be payable at the time of completing each planning obligation.

Regeneration Services Administration costs are currently £450* payable upon completion of each planning obligation.

Walsall Council's Legal Costs are currently £2500 as a minimum (unless agreed otherwise with Legal Services) payable at the time of completing the planning obligation.

* These costs may change from time to time and will be updated within our miscellaneous planning charges document which is available on the Planning homepage - link below.

Is there a dedicated member of staff for planning obligation enquiries?

Yes, the Planning, Monitoring & Delivery Officer ensures that completed planning obligations are accurately recorded and to ensure effective monitoring of all requirements set out in each planning obligation e.g the collection and transfer of contributions and associated late payment interest charges or indexation charges. However, the formulation of details and content of the Planning Obligation are negotiated with the planning case officer and officers from other specialist services.

You can direct your S106 enquiries to the Planning, Monitoring & Delivery Officer using the contact details at the bottom of this page. Any enquiries relating to the actual spend of contributions should be directed to the relevant service area/partner organisationto which the contribution relates.

Can I view and obtain copies of planning obligations?

Yes, you can search for and view electronic copies of completed planning obligations via our free on-line live planning interactive service which has been designed to be comprehensive and easy to use. Information and help options are provided for each page. To search for planning obligations via our planning interactive service click on following link.

You can purchase paper copies of completed planning obligations and associated plans from our Local Land Charges Department.

Can planning permission be issued without completion of a planning obligation?

No, where it has been identified in line with our local policies and adopted Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD's) that a development proposal (normally major applications) requires matters to be dealt with by way of a planning obligation in order to enable the development to be deemed as acceptable in planning terms and where the development proposal would otherwise be refused without a planning obligation, planning permission cannot be issued until the associated planning obligation has been checked by our Solicitors and subsequently signed and dated by all parties (thereby completed).

Can I get advice on the required S106 contributions prior to submitting a planning application?

Yes, we are able to provide you with advice and information if you are considering submitting a development proposal. We welcome and encourage discussions before you submit your application. We acknowledge the advantages of providing good quality advice to developers and their agents prior to the formal submission of a planning application in order to help speed up the development process and avoid unacceptable proposals. To view the full pre-application process click on following link.

Benefits will be secured either by on site provision or via financial contributions depending on what is required. Some of the most common issues that arise are explained in, and controlled by our adopted SPD’s (explained below). The main topic areas to benefit are Affordable Housing, Primary and Secondary Education, Urban Open Space, Highways Improvements, Public Art and Healthcare. This list is not exhaustive and any other relevant and necessary matter may be included within a Planning Obligation that can not be secured through the normal planning process but is required in order for the development to be deemed acceptable in planning terms which would otherwise be refused.

Each development is judged on it’s own merits, however there are certain requirements that apply to most major applications. You can view our adopted Supplementary Planning Documents (SPD’s) which detail how we calculate the most frequent requirements and view ou local policies in saved sections of our Unitary Development Plan (UDP) and Black Country Core Strategy (BCCS) by clicking on the following links.

Can I find out whether planning obligations have been completed on a site and whether the associated S106 contributions or provision has been received or remains outstanding?

Yes, you can ask for Section 52/106 information free of charge under the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

What happens if the required S106 contributions make the proposed development financially unviable?

You will be advised during pre application discussions of all the council's SPD and S106 requirements in line with locally adopted policy. Should you believe that such costs would render the development proposal to be financially unviable we will advise you that an independent financial appraisal is required in order to demonstrate your claims in which you will need to explain abnormal costs etc. We strongly suggest the use of the District Valuer Service as they have a proven track record of offering a good reliable independent service that is also very reasonably priced. You would be liable for the costs of the independent financial appraisal (costs vary depending on complexity of each case). The full procedure is set out in our 'Customer guide to completing planning obligations' which is available on the Section 106 homepage - link below.

What is a Registered Social Landlord?

A Registered Social Landlord (RSL) is another name for an organisation that manages social housing. Social housing means homes for rent or sale that are not owned by a private landlord. RSL’s are also known as housing associations. To find out more and view a list of RSL's within Walsall please click on following link.

What is Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL)?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a new tariff based system that will largely replace the use of Section 106 Agreements (Planning Obligations). The use of Section 106 will be restricted from April 2015 and once a CIL Charging Schedule is adopted it will set a charge on most forms of new development to provide funds towards necessary off-site infrastructure.

Cabinet approval was given in June 2011 to prepare an Infrastructure Plan for Walsall to support the introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedule. The Infrastructure Plan will be developed as we progress the Site Allocation Document and Town Centre Area Action Plan, more information available at www.Walsall.gov.uk/Planning_2026.

Find out more about CIL on our CIL Web Page.

Contact

Development Management
Economy and Environment
Civic Centre
Darwall Street
Walsall
WS1 1DG

Email - planningservices@walsall.gov.uk
Telephone – 01922 652677

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