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New S106 rules may affect SPA mitigation for developers

02 April 2015

Our long-term clients, planning consultants Turley, have highlighted the likely but unintended effects of a new constraint on Section 106 (S106) contributions.

Many Local Authorities have not as yet adopted the newer Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), possibly due to the stronger ability to facilitate development with affordable housing under CIL's more flexible antecedent, S106.

However, since 1 April 2015, changes to the CIL Regulations mean that Local Authorities are no longer able to pool more than five S106 contributions. This effectively limits the size of any infrastructure project needed to mitigate the effects of development and will preclude some, typically smaller, projects from being granted permission.

Of particular concern are those projects within the buffer zone of Special Protected Areas (SPAs), for example the Solent and Southampton Water SPA where the contributions for a large number of development projects have, in the past, been pooled into the Solent Disturbance and Mitigation Project. Without being able to pool more than five contributions under S106, the mitigation cannot be effected in the same way and therefore some developments cannot be permitted under the current system. At the present time, it is unclear how Natural England will advise planning authorities during the consultation process.

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Image credit: Milford - River Derwent and Housing Development (Alan Heardman) / CC BY-SA 2.0




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