Planning obligations/developer contributions

Policy PODM59: Planning obligations and developer contributions

  1. The Authority will seek appropriate contributions from developers to serve the development and its occupants. Where the development is of a type that will introduce additional pressure on the Broads Authority Executive Area, including for permanent moorings, contributions will be sought towards the appropriate provision of social facilities and benefits including affordable housing, biodiversity enhancement and mitigation of the impact on biodiversity, recreational, community and navigation facilities, and to achieve sustainable development.
  2. Contributions may be sought in appropriate circumstances. Where appropriate, the standards and thresholds adopted by the relevant authority, including Housing Authorities and County Councils, will apply. Contributions may be pooled with others from outside the Broads area to fund wider community infrastructure/mitigation.
  3. Reduced contributions, where necessary (for example due to the exceptional costs of redeveloping a particular site), will be negotiated on an ‘open book’ basis, based on the financial viability of the scheme.
  4. Occasionally, planning obligations may be used to require a certain element of a scheme to happen, such as a schedule of repairs to a listed building.

Reasoned Justification

Development can place additional pressure upon physical infrastructure, social facilities, biodiversity, and green infrastructure, and it is a well-established principle that new development should contribute towards the cost of meeting these additional demands. Developer contributions (also referred to as Planning Obligations) are a means of funding works to mitigate the impact of development, and to provide benefits to local communities and support the provision of local infrastructure.

Where existing infrastructure is inadequate to meet the needs of new development, the Authority will use conditions or planning obligations to ensure that proposals are made acceptable through securing the provision of necessary improvements to facilities, infrastructure, and services.

The nature and scale of any contribution sought for this purpose will be related to the development proposed and its potential impact upon the surrounding area. It is important to consider the following in relation to Developer Contributions (as set out in the Community Infrastructure Levy Regulations 2010 as amended, regulations 122 and 123):

  • Developer contributions must be necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms, be directly related to the development, and be fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development.
  • The combined total impact of contributions should not threaten the viability of the scheme.
  • There are currently pooling restrictions on S106 contributions, whereby only five contributions can be sought towards generic types of infrastructure.

The Authority will seek contributions towards transport, police and fire service provision, education facilities, libraries, health facilities and social service provision where appropriate, using Planning Obligations standards prepared by Norfolk and Suffolk County Councils. The Authority will also apply the standards and thresholds adopted by the relevant constituent District Council to calculate the contributions to be sought (for example in relation to play and open space and waste management). Contributions to affordable housing will be sought in accordance with the approach set out in policy PODM42 on affordable housing and policy on PODM9 open space.

In relation to the protection and use of the waterways and navigation, contributions will be sought from development, where appropriate[156] , towards dredging and provision of moorings (see PODM39). The dredging and proper disposal of sediment from the bed of the rivers and broads is the largest cost in the maintenance of the navigation area. The required level of contribution will be calculated on a site-by-site basis, using the Authority’s latest available dredging costings, and reflecting site-specific characteristics such as quantity, contamination and ease of disposal.

Any financial contributions resulting from planning obligations will be held by the Authority until agreement is reached with the providing body for the relevant facilities to be provided. If agreement is not reached or the infrastructure is not constructed, those monies will be returned to the developer after a period of 10 years. Maintenance sums will be sought for the first 10 years of the life of a facility where relevant (15 years for highways maintenance in relation to bridges or other highway structures, 120 years for lifetime replacement).

The Broads Authority and CIL

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is a planning charge introduced by the Planning Act 2008. It is a discretionary charge that can be used as a tool by local authorities in England and Wales to help deliver infrastructure to support the development of their area. The Broads Authority has not introduced a CIL, due to the low levels of development in the area, difficulties involved in identifying specific Broads’ infrastructure, and the costs of collecting and monitoring CIL when balanced against the sums likely to be generated.

Recreational Avoidance and Mitigation Scheme (RAMS) and Nutrient Neutrality

As mentioned elsewhere in this Local Plan, the issue of recreation impact and the impact from development on nutrients needs to be mitigated. RAMS is a payment that tends to be secured from S111 payments. Nutrient Neutrality will also need to be addressed in some locations by certain developments. The exact mechanism and cost are being developed at the time of writing but will be reflected in future local plans.

Government changes to planning obligations.

At the time of writing, the Government were considering changes to planning obligations. The changes are being addressed through the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill. The Government are looking into a new levy which would replace s106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy. The Authority will monitor the progress of any such changes, and these will be reflected in future local plans as necessary.

Infrastructure Funding Statements

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations require all local planning authorities that issue a CIL liability notice or enter into Section 106 planning obligations during a reporting year to publish an infrastructure funding statement (IFS) at least annually. The Statement for the Broads is here: Developer contributions (

Sustainability appraisal summary

The following is a summary of the assessment of the policy and alternative(s).

A: Preferred Policy: 3 positives. 0 negatives. 0 ? Overall, positive.

Reasonable alternative options

No reasonable alternative options have been identified. Planning obligations are an accepted and important part of determining planning applications. The amendments to the policy are factual.

How has the existing policy been used since adoption in May 2019?

According to recent Annual Monitoring Reports, the policy has been used and applications have been determined in accordance with the policy.

  • [156] The development may be in an area which is not usually dredged and might attract more vessels. Or might be in an area where larger boats are attracted so would need more dredging to increase the water depth.