Mark Hendrick – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Mark Hendrick on 2016-01-12.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what plans his Department has to update planning guidance on using money from Section 106 agreements to fund flood prevention projects.

Brandon Lewis

The Government is investing in flood protection at record levels, with an unprecedented 6-year commitment of £2.3 billion in more than 1,500 projects to better protect an additional 300,000 homes by 2021.

National planning policy is designed to protect people and property from flooding. Local planning authorities are expected to avoid inappropriate development in areas at risk of flooding by directing development away from areas at highest risk. In addition government guidance is clear that policies for seeking section 106 planning obligations should be set out in Local Plans or neighbourhood plans to enable fair and open testing of the policies at examination.

Mitigation measures to make development acceptable in flood risk areas can be made a requirement of any planning consent. All local planning authorities are expected to follow the strict tests set out in national planning policy and guidance. Where these tests are not met, national policy is very clear that new development should not be allowed.

The Government’s preferred approach for enabling developer contributions to infrastructure is the Community Infrastructure Levy, which is faster and more transparent than individually negotiated section 106 agreements. The Levy can fund infrastructure requirements where they are most needed across an area. Legislation and Government guidance specifies that flood defences form part of the infrastructure that can be funded in this way. More than 100 authorities currently charge the Levy and well over 100 more have made substantive progress towards doing so.