Section 106 Planning obligations

The payment or delivery of planning obligations is most often made under what is known as a Section 106 Agreement under the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. This is an agreement between the local planning authority and the private sector developer in relation to a particular development.

The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 brings into force statutory restrictions on the use of Planning Obligations from April 2014. It was recently proposed to extend this to April 2015. See TCPA Briefing.


The aim of planning obligations is to mitigate the impact of a new development in addition to ensuring it is acceptable to the local planning authority and community. Planning obligations have been secured to help fund new facilities (i.e. a sports hall) or pay for new or enhanced services (i.e. a bus service) as part of new developments going ahead.

The fundamental principle governing the use of planning obligations is that .


Planning obligations generally incur capital costs for on-site, off-site or in-kind contributions. Off-site contributions often tend to be a financial contribution, these can be a lump sum or endowment, or if not too complex, as phased payments.

Negotiating planning obligations is also about the process of identifying what is needed in the area to offset the negative impact of new developments, and a number of publications, including Planning Community Needs, promote community participation as a key ingredient in delivering good planning outcomes.

The eligibility criteria for Section 106 contributions secured through the planning system are defined by legislation and set out in the NPPF. Section 106 agreements are often referred to as planning obligations, developer contributions, planning contributions or planning agreements. Recent changes to legislation restrict their use to the mitigation of on-site and site-specific impacts and will limit the pooling of contributions from a number of developments. Contributions may be secured by:

  • work in-kind provided or constructed by the developer;
  • a financial payment (in the case of services such as a library or an educational facility, a contribution decided using a formula may be more appropriate); or
  • the transfer of land for a facility;

Paras 203-205 of the NPPF state that Section 106 planning obligations should meet the following three tests:

  • They must be necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms
  • They must be directly related to the development
  • They must be fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.

The relationship between CIL and planning obligations

Did you know?

Recent CLG research

Background research and further advice

Town and Country Planning Act 1990 Section 106, as amended

The Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 Part 11

The Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) Regulations 2013

DCLG, Community Infrastructure Levy: Guidance, 2013

ATLAS section 106 guidance

ACE and MLA, Arts, Museums and New Development: a standard charge approach, 2009

MLA, Public Libraries, Archives and New Development: A Standard Charge Approach, 2008

Planning Officers Society, Section 106 Obligations and the CIL Advice Note, April 2011

Sport England, Planning Contributions Kitbag

Links to Case Studies

You can find the following relevant case studies within the toolkit: