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Planning Obligations - Draft Head(s) of Terms

Published: 2020-01-27 Updated: 2023-03-24 Subject:

Planning application - local requirement

Planning obligations, or 'Section 106' Agreements, are private contracts negotiated with us, to ensure that major developments will cater for the needs of residents or users. These agreements may cover issues such as accessibility, provision of affordable housing, infrastructure and green space. Draft Head(s) of Terms are planning agreements outlining those obligations, and how they will be secured, managed and monitored.

Read more about the policy context of this requirement
The obligations can be secured via a planning agreement entered into under section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 by a person with an interest in the land and the local planning authority; or via a unilateral undertaking entered into by a person with an interest in the land without the local planning authority. These agreements may cover issues such as the provision of affordable housing, infrastructure, and tree planting.

Our Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (2023) provides further information in relation to policy issues which may lead to requirements for planning obligations. The document sets out our justification for seeking these, and provides further information about the nature of obligations, and how we expect to secure them.
You should review the Planning Obligations SPD for further information, and to inform your Draft Heads of Terms, if you believe your development is likely to require a planning obligation.

When this requirement applies

You will need to submit a Draft Heads of Terms with any application for a major development. This could be any of the following:

  • 10 or more dwellings
  • Residential sites of 0.5 ha or more
  • Other buildings with a floor space of 1,000m sq, or on sites of 1 ha or more
  • All waste applications

Where the Draft Heads of Terms relates to a major development, but excludes details of obligations for affordable housing due to development viability, you must provide a Viability Assessment  to achieve a valid application.  

What the document should include

We recommend using our pre-application guidance services, to get clear information about the obligations which are likely to apply to your development. At the pre-application stage, you should submit draft details of the obligations you expect to need to meet for your development, along with details of your solicitor and proof of your ownership of the development site. We can offer guidance on the level of information we will need in support of your application.

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