Planning Obligations

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

West Somerset Council has produced a Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) which explains when a planning application requires a planning obligation. 

Planning Obligation agreements are designed to: 

  •  Ease the impact of a new development on the local community
  • Compensate the local community for any impact caused by a development, for example if open space is lost
  • Help shape the new development, for example ensure a certain number of houses are affordable homes

Planning Obligation agreements are:

  • Often known as Section 106 agreements, other names include Unilateral or Grampion agreements
  • Legally binding agreements between developers/landowners and the local planning authority (or council)
  • May also occasionally involve other parties
  • Made using powers contained in Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)
  • Linked to the grant of planning permission
  • Binding on the land to which the permission relates and whoever owns it, so they pass from owner to owner if the land is sold

Planning Obligation agreements should always:

  • Be directly related and relevant to the proposed development
  • Be fair and reasonable in scale and kind to a proposed development
  • Be reasonable in all aspects and make a proposed development acceptable in planning terms

Other things worth knowing:

  • Every agreement will be different and reflect the development it relates to
  • With the agreement of the Council, developers may make payments, or take certain actions - for example install a play area
  • If a development does not go ahead, the Planning Obligation agreement will not be implemented