As part of the planning process, a developer may be required to enter into a legal agreement to provide infrastructure and services on or off the development site where this is not possible to achieve through planning conditions. These agreements are known as Planning Obligations and are a delivery mechanism for the matters that are necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms.
Such agreements can cover almost any relevant issue, acting as a main instrument for placing restrictions on developers, often requiring them to minimise the impact on the local community and to carry out tasks which will provide community benefits, and can include the payment of sums of money.
They are commonly used to bring developments in line with the objectives of sustainable development. Examples of types of infrastructure or services that planning obligations can include are:
Provision of Affordable Housing
Improved community facilities – e.g. Public open space/ play areas, educational facilities
Specific measures to mitigate impact on a local area – e.g. parking restrictions, landscaping or noise insulation.
Restrictions and obligations on the use of land.
This list is not exhaustive. Each planning application is dealt with individually on its merits and restrictions and requirements not on this list may also be needed.