Sarah Wollaston – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Communities and Local Government

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Sarah Wollaston on 2016-04-11.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, whether Section 106 contributions for highways infrastructure works can be used to pay for (a) the costs of administrative, legal or design work or general highways maintenance works required prior to the installation of highways infrastructure works and (b) other associated overhead costs incurred by the local highways authority or its contractors.

Brandon Lewis

It is for the local planning authority to determine what is required and seek planning obligations through a Section 106 agreement in order to make a development acceptable in planning terms. There are three statutory tests that need to be applied when considering a planning obligation, that it is: necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the development; and fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

Developers may be asked to provide contributions for infrastructure in several ways. This may be by way of planning obligations in the form of Section 106 agreements but can also include contributions through payment of the Community Infrastructure Levy and Section 278 highway agreements.

It is for local planning authorities to decide what provisions they make in Section 106 agreements, and agree these with the interested parties, and therefore any liabilities would depend on the individual agreement. Local authorities and developers can renegotiate planning obligations by mutual agreement at any time or under Section 106A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. However, Local planning authorities are expected to use all of the funding they receive through planning obligations in accordance with the terms of the individual planning obligation agreement. This is to ensure that new developments are acceptable in planning terms; benefit local communities and support the provision of local infrastructure.