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 regulations are in place to ensure that (a) town councils, (b) parish councils and (c) local communities receive regular updates from highways authorities about (i) the sum total for Section 106 contributions for highways infrastructure works promised and delivered within their areas each year and (ii) a breakdown of expenditure on individual works within their areas.

Brandon Lewis

Section 106 agreements are negotiated and agreed between a local planning authority and a developer and/or landowner along with other interested parties in the land, such as mortgage providers. National planning policy makes clear that Section 106 requirements, modifications and discharges should be transparent and available for inspection.

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.

Planning decisions should be based on Local Plan policy unless material considerations indicate otherwise. Representations from interested third parties may constitute material considerations. Town councils, parish councils and local communities can influence infrastructure and other considerations in Local Plans through the consultation process.

The Community Infrastructure Levy was introduced to provide a faster, fairer and more transparent approach to collecting developer contributions toward infrastructure. The Government launched a review of the Levy in 2015. This review will consider a range of issues, including the relationship between the Levy and Section 106 planning obligations.