Planning Obligations SPD

In the future, when the Council considers planning applications for new developments in Darlington, we will consider a wider range of issues relating to facilities provided by new developments. This is to make sure that the right type and the right amount of facilities are provided to make the area pleasant for everyone who will live or work there. Such facilities are known as 'planning obligations', 'developer contributions' or 's106 agreements'.

New facilities are only needed where existing facilities cannot cope with the extra use from the new development. The type and amount of facilities needed in an area vary depending on the kind of development being proposed. For example, if a new housing development were to be built, we need to make sure that neighbouring roads will be able to cope with the extra traffic, that there will be enough local school places or that there will be suitable play facilities in the area.

The Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (Planning Obligations SPD) was adopted on the 31 January 2013. It replaces the Affordable Housing SPD, the Commuted Sums from New Housing Development to Enhance Children’s Equipped Play Areas SPG and Open Space Strategy policies 19, 20 and 21.

It will provide further detail and guidance on several adopted Core Strategy policies. It will set out:

  • the process for using planning obligations;
  • when planning obligations will be sought;
  • how planning obligations will be calculated; and
  • the way the Council expects planning obligations to be delivered.

The Planning Obligations SPD is a material consideration, having weight when considering planning applications for new development.

The document will soon be accompanied by a Developer Guidance Note, Planning Obligations Calculator and Infrastructure Projects List.

Supporting documents

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is not programmed to be introduced in Darlington until at least 2018-19. Until then the Planning Obligations SPD will set out guidance on how planning obligation matters should be addressed in Darlington. If CIL is introduced, planning obligations will remain in use; their focus is expected to change slightly but the overall approach is likely to remain the same.