Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document

Policy PO/1: Planning Obligations, of the West Somerset District Local Plan, establishes the requirement to make provision for, or contribute towards infrastructure or community facilities related to development proposals.

West Somerset Council has produced a Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) covering this issue, that is to be considered alongside this policy where it applies to any such proposals.  It seeks to provide clarity on the nature of the infrastructure, other development and/or financial contributions that will be sought in relation to the type of development.

The bulk of the document is associated with the provision of affordable housing as a consequence of residential development.  It provides clarity in respect of the proportions of affordable housing that will be expected in particular locations, the development number thresholds that apply in respect of different types of settlement and, costings and calculations that may be used in determining the viability of development proposals.

It also provides guidance on the level of contributions that may be sought through Section 106/Planning Obligations agreements in relation to other types of community infrastructure.

Please note that the applicant will be expected to pay the Council’s legal fees in full for preparing the S106 Agreement. This fee is calculated on an hourly rate basis, details of which can be provided on request.

The production of the Planning Obligations SPD was subject to the programme and process set out in the Statement of Community Involvement including a six week consultation period before being ‘adopted’ by Full Council at its meeting on 9th December 2009.

A table summarising the comments received during the consultation period (21st August to 1st October 2009) and the Council’s response to them is also provided. 

The SPD replaces the previous Planning Obligations Codes of Practice Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG). 

In adopting the Planning Obligations SPD in December 2009, West Somerset Council undertook to update the figures used in the examples of development viability contained in Appendix 3.  A revised version of Appendices 2 and 3 based on 2010 data is now available under related documents.  This should be used in place of the original version which is retained for comparative purposes only.

On 23rd November 2016 the West Somerset Local Plan to 2032 (WSLP to 2032) was adopted and some of the policies in its predecessor, West Somerset District Local Plan – Adopted, April 2006, were superseded as a consequence.  Policy PO/1: Planning Obligations and, Policy H/4: Affordable Housing in the latter document were the key policies affected.  These had provided the policy link to the Planning Obligations SPD document.  The new policies, Policy ID1: Infrastructure Delivery and, Policy SC4: Affordable Housing, are no longer linked to the SPD as they post-date it.  As the document was no longer linked to extant development plan policies, the Council, in its capacity as Local Planning Authority (LPA) for those parts of West Somerset outside of the Exmoor National Park, re-adopted the SPD as Council policy.  This occurred at the same Full Council meeting as that when the WSLP to 2032 was adopted (see Minute C59, Resolution 3).  This was done so as to establish a clear and consistent starting point for LPA Officers when embarking on negotiations for Section 106/Planning Obligations Agreements with qualifying development proposals.