Agenda item

Planning Gain


Richard Stott, Team Manager – Planning and Enforcement, introduced the item.


Panel Members raised the following points and asked the following questions


Councillor Elliott asked how the Council monitors 106 agreements to check payments and that works are carried out as promised.


The officer explained that previously, case officers would check in on progress. There is now a database that monitors progress as soon as a planning application is granted – there are a series of flags alerting officers to carry out checks. Service areas report back to us on an annual basis and a report is published in December each year. Regarding a crossing referred to by Councillor Elliott, the officer explained that if this resulted from a 106 agreement and the money has been paid to the Council, it is up to the service area to update our department – the service area will have a programme of projects.


Councillor Elliott asked if the database was in use 7 years ago. The officer explained that projects were migrated over (the line was drawn at 1990). Most projects have a pay back clause of 5-10 years. Occasionally a 106 agreement slips the net, but this is rare and we would follow it up.


Councillor Furse thanked officers for enforcement work that is carried out. He asked about a development gain for Western Riverside – pedestrian access to Victoria Park. He asked why this has not been delivered when the money has been paid. The officer stated that he would double check on this but explained that project delivery is the responsibility of the service area. He also thought that the trigger may not have been reached.


Councillor Furse referred to Hope House, he explained that there was a planning gain for community benefit. He explained that land gets moved over from developer to developer, each take their profit and there is no money left for community benefit, they fail to deliver on their social responsibility. He stated that any enforcement that could be brought would be welcome. He added that sometimes planning gain can come out of change of use but local residents don’t seem to benefit.


Councillor MacFie asked about the input Parish and Town Councils have in 106 and CIL matters. The officer explained that regarding CIL – local areas get a portion, 15% to Town Councils and 25% if their have a neighbourhood plan. Regarding 106, he explained that there is not so much scope for Parish and Town Councils to have a say. He explained that this issue could be further explained at a Parish Liaison meeting.


Councillor Warrington asked if there is any mechanism to report back to Parish and Town Councils on how much money is left in the pot and also, is there a crib sheet with examples of community projects. The officer explained that a head figure could be provided but it would be up to the PC and TC to keep a record and report back (hyperlink in the report). Regarding the crib sheet, the officer stated that this does not exist at the moment but FAQs are being produced and he would speak to his team about developing a crib sheet.


Councillor Samuel (Cabinet Member for Economic Development and Resources) informed the Panel the WECA had invited the Council to bid for the City Region Transport Settlement which has £500-£800million to invest in transport. The Government expect that the Council would contribute £42million over 5 years. Officers will be putting together a report on how the Council could fund that contribution. This will have implications on current CIL and 106 arrangements. This Panel should receive a report on this when we know more. The officer stated that he did not know the details of this yet but added that the Government have lifted the restriction on pooling money regarding CIL and 106.


Councillor Samuel explained that, in making up the £42million, there may be new areas of assumption that were not part of planning decision previously. He also informed the Panel that the WECA Mayor is keen to update key transport corridors in the WECA region.


Councillor Hughes asked about the affordable housing obligation and stated that a lot of medium/large developments are not complying with our policy. The officer explained that negotiation on affordable housing happens during the planning application phase, sometimes there is off site delivery. 106 is a legal agreement but it does not determine the percentage of affordable housing.


Councillor MacFie asked how the Planning Committee could affect the affordable housing agreement with developers. The officer explained that each case is different and the report recommendation will be based on many competing priorities. If the Committee are unhappy at the percentage of affordable housing, it is in their gift to refuse the application.

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