Changes affecting the way Section 106 agreements are made have been proposed by the Planning Minister. We need to consider how these changes could affect the community sector, which can benefit from these S106 agreements.
Proposals to ‘speed up’ section 106 agreements include:
- Setting clear time limits so section 106 negotiations are completed in line with the existing 8 to 13 week target for planning applications to be processed
- Requiring parties to start discussions at the beginning of the planning application process, rather than the current system where negotiations can often start towards the end
- A dispute resolution process where negotiations stall preventing development
- Using standardised documents to avoid agreements being drafted from scratch for each and every application
- Potential legislation in the next Parliament to give the new measures teeth
The Minister has said: “Section 106 planning agreements can bring great benefits to local communities but too often they drag out planning applications for months.”
Also under discussion is whether the requirement to provide affordable housing contributions acts as a barrier to development providing dedicated student accommodation.