Planning obligations (often referred to as section 106 agreements) are legal agreements negotiated between the Council and a developer or landowner (usually in the context of a planning application).
Planning obligations are typically used to ensure that new developments:
- Comply with planning policy - for instance, by requiring affordable housing or public open space to be provided; and
- Do not impose undue burdens on existing facilities - for instance, by requiring financial contributions to improve local services such as schools, libraries or transport.
Applicants should refer to the guidance provided here in order to determine initially whether a section 106 agreement is likely to be needed in connection with a proposed development. Applicants are encouraged to seek pre-application advice from the Development Management team if they are in any doubt.
Policy DC4 of the Breckland Core Strategy requires affordable housing to be provided as part of all new housing developments of 5 or more dwellings or on sites of 0.17 hectare or larger. For qualifying schemes, 40% of the development should be provided as affordable housing. This requirement will normally only be reduced where it is demonstrated satisfactorily that this level of affordable housing provision would render the development unviable. Affordable housing requirements should be met on site, other than in exceptional circumstances, i.e. where it can be shown the provision of a financial contribution in lieu of on site units would provide wider sustainability benefits and where physical constraints result in development costs that make on site provision unviable.
Policy DC11 of the Breckland Core Strategy requires all new residential developments to contribute to the provision of outdoor recreational space. For schemes of 25 dwellings and above, public open space should generally be provided on site as an integral part of the development. For smaller schemes, financial contributions in lieu of on site provision will be sought where a suitable local project for the provision of new or improved recreational facilities can be identified. Where no such projects exist, contributions will not be sought.
Where a section 106 agreement is required in connection with a proposed development, applicants will be expected to provide additional information with their planning applications, including a Planning Obligations Statement or draft agreement (using the Council's standard templates where appropriate/available). Details of legal representation, proof of title and a legal costs undertaking will also be needed, although this is not necessarily required on submission on an application. Nevertheless, providing information at an early stage will help to speed up the process of completing section 106 agreements, providing quicker decisions for applicants and helping the Council to meet government targets for the time taken to make planning decisions.
Urban housing schemes (5-14 dwellings)
Legal agreement questionnaire
Important Information for Developers
An example of the Breckland Council standard form of
Whilst not all contributions will be required in every case, this example covers all those normally required for large scale developments. The same format will be used on much smaller schemes where, say, affordable housing and open space contributions only are required.
Provision of Wheelie Bins
The Council has introduced a charge for the provision of wheelie bins and therefore the future occupant(s) of any new dwellings will be required to pay the necessary sum to the Council for this facility. For developments of five or more dwellings, you, if you are a developer, are invited to enter into a legal agreement with the Council to make provision for your future purchasers for this service. For more information please visit the Environment and Waste page on our website.