Section 106 agreements and planning obligations

Planning obligations are payments or provisions that a developer must make to a Local Planning Authority (LPA) to make their development acceptable in planning terms. These are usually secured in a section 106 (S106) agreement.

What is a section 106 agreement?

A section 106 (S106) agreement is a contract of obligations entered into between a developer, landowner and a Local Planning Authority (LPA). It can be attached to a planning permission to make acceptable a development that would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms.

These obligations may be negotiated between the developer and the LPA, or the developer may choose to accept restrictions without negotiation in what is called a 'unilateral undertaking'.

S106 agreements are used for three purposes, to:

  • set out the nature of development, for example, making sure that a portion of housing is affordable.
  • compensate for loss or damage created by a development, for example, loss of open space.
  • mitigate a development's impact, for example, by increasing public transport. 

Planning obligations must meet three legal tests. For developments that are capable of being charged the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) planning obligations must be:

  • necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms
  • directly related to the development
  • fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development

These are also set out as policy tests in paragraph 204 of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF).

Fees and contributions

Legal fee

£730 (this is the minimum charge. More complex agreements may mean a higher fee).

Monitoring fee

From 1 October 2019 the monitoring fee will be increasing to £750 per payment trigger.

The Planning Contributions SPD

The SPD provides guidance for developers and landowners on what planning and infrastructure contributions we are likely to need, see our Planning Contributions Supplementary Planning Document page.

Copies of S106 agreements

Copies of agreements can be found under the documents section for the relevant planning application on our online public access service.

If the agreement is not available, please contact the S106 Officer to ask for a copy.

Modification or discharge of a planning obligation

Section 106A Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (as amended)

The Act states that planning obligations may be modified or discharged by agreement between the LPA and all persons against whom an obligation is enforceable. The agreement to modify or discharge must be carried out as a deed.

Section 106A(3) allows applications to be made to modify or discharge planning obligations after the expiry of the relevant period (meaning such period as may be prescribed or the period of 5 years from the date of the planning obligation). The Town and County Planning (Modification and Discharge of Planning Obligations) Regulations 1992 sets out the steps for these applications.

The application form, notice and certificates are available on our Planning application forms and fees page. 

In cases where Section 106A does not apply, applicants can apply to modify or discharge an obligation by email to planningenquiries@guildford.gov.uk.

Contact details

Please email our Section 106 Officer on: S106.officer@guildford.gov.uk