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Delivering local infrastructure and affordable housing through the planning system: the future of planning obligations through Section 106

Gemma Burgess, Sarah Monk, Christine Whitehead


New developments often require additional physical and social infrastructure to offset negative impacts on the immediate locality and the wider community. In England, Section 106 (S106) of the 1990 Planning and Compensation Act allows planning obligations to be negotiated to provide affordable housing and financial contributions to local services.

This paper draws on research that analysed the nature and delivery of planning obligations secured through S106 to clarify the extent to which what is negotiated under S106 is actually delivered and to draw out implications for how the policy might be improved in the light of political and economic change. The research showed that, where robust monitoring systems are in place, S106 has enabled a wide range of obligations to be negotiated and delivered in very different economic environments. Rather than change the system radically, policy makers should focus on streamlining and improving the existing system.


DOI 10.3351/ppp.0005.0001.0001