Increasingly, Councils require landowners and developers to agree to what is sometimes referred to as “planning gain”. This may take the form of an allocation of a proportion of a new housing development for affordable housing; or a financial contribution to infrastructure such as highway improvements; or public open space or recreational facilities. Sometimes there may be a restriction on the permitted use, similar to a restrictive covenant. Sometimes there may be a requirement to carry out work.
Traditionally, the Council negotiated a planning agreement (referred to as a section 106 agreement) as part of the planning application process. In recent years there has been a trend towards expecting the applicant to produce a unilateral planning obligation as part of the planning application.
If you find that you are expected to offer “planning gain” you ought to take specialist legal advice with regard to the terms proposed and the wording. Remember that anything you sign under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 will show up on a local search and binds not only you but any subsequent owners of your land.
We have the expertise required to advise you and if necessary negotiate for you on the terms proposed. We also have experience of drafting planning agreements for developers, landowners and local planning authorities.
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