The London Assembly has launched an investigation examining the use of section 106 planning agreements in the capital, which raise considerable sums annually – estimated at £230 million in 2005/06 alone. The section, which forms part of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990, allows deals to be made between boroughs and developers as part of the planning permission process.
Led by Tony Arbour AM, Chair of the Assembly’s Planning and Spatial Development Committee, the investigation will cover:
- Different approaches undertaken by London boroughs and the Mayor to negotiating section 106 agreement
- The effectiveness of monitoring and enforcing the implementation of these agreements
- Assessing the quality of outcomes in terms of benefits to the local community
- The potential impact of the Planning Gain Supplement
Tony Arbour said: “When planning permission is granted, the value of land often increases dramatically. However, the local community does not necessarily see much benefit from the disruption or loss of amenity that may result from that development.
“Boroughs can normally expect developers – through section 106 agreements – to provide money to pay for community benefits such as affordable housing, new or improved open spaces, transport improvements, a new school, leisure and community facilities, or training programmes. There are doubts that these deals are always delivered in full, concerns that councils cannot enforce these agreements, and that there is little community involvement in what is negotiated and how it is spent.
“This Committee wants to understand the value to London of developer contributions that are secured after planning permission is granted, with a view to offering suggestions for changes in policy so that the community secures the best possible outcomes from the process.”
The Committee would like to hear what Londoners think about the issue. Please write to Paul Watling, PP10 / 6th floor, London Assembly, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, London SE1 2AA, or email: firstname.lastname@example.org