Town and Country Planning Act 1990 (Amendment) Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:12 pm on 29th January 2010.

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Photo of Shahid Malik Shahid Malik Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Communities and Local Government 2:12 pm, 29th January 2010

Debates get to a stage when people are just not going to agree-that is probably where we are now. That is not because I believe the objectives are not laudable-they are-but the vehicle that is being used to achieve them is fundamentally inappropriate. I and other hon. Members have given some of the good reasons why that is so. I accept that our arguments have not penetrated as they might have done, but that is the hon. Gentleman's prerogative.

It is a long-standing principle that planning obligations should not be used purely as a means of securing for the local community a share in the profits of development. Likewise, planning obligations should not be used solely to resolve existing deficiencies, such as housing in poor repair. That is because planning obligations are intended to be used where there is a strong relationship between the impacts of a new development and the action required through section 106 to mitigate or compensate for them.

The Government's policy requires, amongst other factors, that planning obligations are sought only when they are relevant to planning; necessary to make the proposed development acceptable in planning terms; directly related to the proposed development; fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the proposed development; and reasonable in all other respects.

Local authorities use planning obligations to secure developer contributions towards a wide range of things, including land, transport and travel, open space and the environment, community works and leisure, and education. Around half the value of all contributions, however, is made towards the provision of new affordable housing in the form of either in-kind, on-site provision or by financial contribution to the local authority by the developer-

The debate stood adjourned (Standing Order No. 11(2)).

Ordered, That the debate be resumed on Friday 26 February.

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