“Section 106 Payments to Local Services…

…. and the physical environment”

As I’m only just learning about the planning system, this one is news to me.  Oldham council has a document describing the Section 106 Planning Obligations:

What are section 106 planning obligations?

Under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, as amended by the Planning and Compensation Act 1991, any person interested in land in the area of a local planning authority may, by agreement or unilaterally, enter into an obligation (commonly known as a section 106 planning obligation)

    • (a) restricting the development or use of land an any specified way;
    • (b) requiring specified operations or activities to be carried out on the land;
    • (c) requiring the land to be used in any specific way;
    • (d) requiring a sum or sums to be paid to the authority on a specified date for an agreed purpose.

Planning permissions can therefore be subject to conditions or planning obligations enabling proposals to go ahead which might otherwise be refused.

Essentially it appears to be a substantial payment from the developer to the council in order to make what would normally be considered an unacceptable development ‘acceptable’.

According to one of the people here these payments are for investments related to the area where the development is happening and are legally binding.  These investments will usually be for public realm improvements but the affordable housing would fall under this, as would the revenue from the underground pay and display car park.

The amount hasn’t been confirmed yet so we have no idea what scale of payments the council would be receiving but we’ll try and find out what sort of numbers we’re talking about.

If anyone has more information on this system and figures for similar developments, please comment below.