A. Section 106 agreements are also known as Planning Obligations. If you are submitting a planning application, you may need to enter into a legal agreement with the Council under Section 106 of the Town & Country Planning Act 1990 (amended by Section 12 of the Planning and Compensation Act 1991). Section 106 is entitled, 'Agreements Regulating Development or Use of Land'. This is a legally binding agreement between the Council, the developer and any other parties with an interest in the site to be developed. This may include West Sussex County Council, the landowner and the developer.
A. It is to regulate the future development of the land, compensate the local community for any impact caused by a development, for example if open space is lost, and help shape the new development (for example, to make sure a certain number of houses are affordable homes). The objective is to mitigate the effects caused by a development (for example, the need for more school places or additional facilities for the community such as improvements to the local community hall). It can include building new roads or improving old ones already providing access to the development.
A. Many of these agreements include the payment of financial contributions. The planning obligations may also be non-financial, such as the provision of land for public open space, affordable housing or the creation of environmental monitoring schemes.
A. The need for an agreement should be discussed in the initial stages by the developer/ landowner and the Planning Officer assigned to that particular development. These discussions should take place before the application is submitted. The result is a list of S106 requirements called 'Heads of Terms', which are then legally drawn up by solicitors representing the different parties.
A. The planning obligations must directly benefit and be relevant to the area in which the new development is situated. If increased traffic is seen as a problem, traffic calming schemes may be appropriate. If the development is aimed at families, the additional children will need schools and play facilities. If the area is prone to flooding, flood mitigation procedures may be required. We negotiate regularly for affordable housing, community, play and leisure facilities and public art. West Sussex County Council is responsible for highways, transport access demands, education, libraries and fire services.
A. Contributions may either be in kind or as a financial contribution. In the case of financial contributions, payments can be made in the form of a lump sum or as instalments over a period of time, related to defined dates, events and triggers.
A. Payments cannot be spent on alternative works unless the developer agrees. They cannot be used to resolve existing problems elsewhere unless specified in the S106 agreement. The important principle is that the S106 contribution must meet the needs of the development proposed, and not be spent on making good a pre-existing deficiency. For example, a S106 contribution may be agreed to fund a new playground if a playground is made necessary by the development. However the money cannot be used to refurbish an existing playground nearby unless previously specified in the S106 agreement.
A. We allocate money through project officers specialising in the various possible spending areas such as play and leisure or affordable housing. Prior to the initial discussions with the developer, the Planning Officer contacts officers from the departments responsible for allocating and spending S106 contributions. Officers are aware of policy requirements such as affordable housing, and request an amount based on the criteria outlined in the Supplementary Planning Guidance. Local needs are often identified in Parish Plans. Direct consultation with local parishes also helps the decision about where S106 contributions may be spent if a development takes place locally.
A. Contributions are monitored by the S106 Monitoring and Implementation Officer. The post is responsible for making sure payments are made and spent within the timescales specified by the S106 agreement.