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Planning obligations (section 106 agreements) 

Planning obligations are agreements entered into between the council and developers, usually in conjunction with the granting of planning permission. They apply to land, binding it and whoever owns it. Made using powers under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, they are also known as 'Section 106 agreements'.

The relevant circular is: Welsh Office Circular 13/97 on Planning Obligations.

Planning obligations 'are intended to make acceptable development that would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms', as defined in the government's Circular 05/2005: Planning Obligations. They can involve direct works or actions by the developer, and/or financial contributions to the council.

They can:

l Prescribe the nature of a development (by requiring that a given proportion of housing is affordable, for example)

l Secure a contribution from a development to compensate for loss or damage created by a development (loss of open space or community facility, for example)

l Mitigate a development's impact (through increased public transport provision or financial contribution towards school places, for example).
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There are two elements of planning obligations which may be measured:

Firstly, the value of all obligations agreed and, secondly, the value of all obligations delivered. The measurement of the value of all obligations agreed will indicate the commitment of resources made in any one year. Such commitments may be identified from the planning agreements made between the developer (and associated parties) and the local authority, utilities and so on. However, the obligations agreed will not necessarily be the obligations eventually delivered. Measuring the value of planning obligations that are delivered in any one year is therefore intrinsically more problematic than calculating the value of obligations that are agreed.

This results from a number of issues:

l Agreed obligations may not be delivered due to an abandonment of the development.

l Agreed obligations may be altered through changes in the development.

l Projects may be phased and obligations or parts of them may be triggered at various stages of a development. This means that obligations may be delivered over a number of years. Unless the monitoring of planning obligations by local authorities allows identification of exactly when a planning obligation item has been delivered, calculating the value of obligations using this method would require many more resources than valuing agreed obligations.

The formulae as follows:

Open space - £10,000 administration/maintenance fee plus £2,463 per plot.

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- The pupil product is calculated as follows:

Early Years - 0.04 pupils per dwelling
Primary - 0.4 pupils per dwelling
Secondary - 0.2 pupils per dwelling

The contribution depends if the area is subject to the Modernising Education Provision (MEP) proposals.

If yes, ie there is no future capacity and extensions are required to accommodate additional pupils then the scale is as follows:

1-15 places - £3000 per place
16-30 places - £3,500 per place
30+ places - £4,000 per place

If no, ie if there is capacity in local schools there is a lower sum to accommodate additional pupils as follows:

1-15 places - £1000 per place
16-30 places - £1500 per place
30+ places - £2000 per place
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Affordable Housing

In urban areas of the County, a contribution to the provision of affordable housing will be sought on residential developments of 10 homes or more, or over 0.33 hectares, whichever is the smaller.  In rural areas, the threshold will be 5 homes or more, or over 0.16 hectares, whichever is the smaller.  Rural areas are defined as the following wards:

Abergwili, Cenarth, Cynwyl Elfed, Cynwyl Gaeo, Gorslas, Kidwelly, Laugharne Township, Llanboidy, Llanddarog, Llanddowror, Llandeilo, Llandovery, Llanegwad, Llanfihangel Aberbythych, Llanfihangel ar Arth, Llangeler, Llangadog, Llangunnor, Llangyndeyrn, Llannon, Llansteffan, Llanybydder, Manordeilo & Salem, Pembrey, Pontyberem, St Clears, St Ishmael, Trelech, Trimsaran, Whitland.

Further information on Affordable Housing policies can be downloaded from the right.

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Page last updated on 05/7/2012