Section 106 is a legal agreement between an applicant applying for a building permit and the local planning authority, which is used to mitigate the impact of your new home on the local community and infrastructure. In other words, a new house means a different car on the streets and maybe your kids will visit nearby schools, which will weigh a little more heavily on local services. During the pandemic, a number of councils were pragmatic and willing to accept forms of legitimate implementation of Section 106 agreements or obligations that they would not normally do. However, given that the country is a pandemic, it is not certain that any of these methods remain acceptable or are part of ordinary practice. Nevertheless, it has always been open to a local planning authority to expedite the process of a Section 106 agreement by allowing the parties to execute a number of separate „counter-parties“. „Planning obligations in the form of Section 106 and section 278 agreements should only be used if unacceptable effects cannot be remedied by a planning condition.“ It may be interesting to consider an approach to the local planning authority that focuses on agreement on a broader set of conditions, if this avoids the need for a Section 106 agreement. During the coronavirus pandemic, many planning processes were delayed; Implementation of Section 106 agreements has also been more difficult. Given that the country is causing the blockade, the time has come to check how companies are addressing „planning obligations“ in order to achieve timely and cost-effective results. While most housing projects continue to require Section 106 agreement, the issue still merits consideration, particularly when a municipal infrastructure tax is to be paid in the area and the main vehicle is to guarantee financial contributions to local infrastructure. In the unusual situation where the only non-CIL payments are very small amounts, it may be worth paying the amounts in question to the local planning authority and entering into a much shorter agreement under other powers (not Section 106), or even obtaining a „reverse“ obligation from the Commission to facilitate the early granting of the building permit.
The NPPG confirms that, although „… A negative condition that limits the development that can take place until a planning obligation or other agreement has been reached is, in most cases, unlikely… „He can nevertheless „… exceptional circumstances… “ in the … a negative condition requiring a planning obligation or other agreement before a given development begins may be appropriate… It remains to be seen to what extent this will resemble the „old normality“ – but it seems certain that if the blockage will dissipate, country and industry-leading planning managers will be put under more pressure than ever to save money and give approvals as inexpensive as possible.