Planning Obligations - frequently asked questions

Local Planning Authorities are now guided to apply affordable housing contributions only on the net increase in floorspace.
A building is considered 'Vacant' in respect of the 'Vacant Building Credit' if at the time planning application is determined the building does not have a lawful occupier or tenant. Applicants may wish to provide, as part of their application, evidence to the Council relating to the occupancy of the buildings at the intended date of determination to assist the calculation of the 'Vacant Building Credit'.
All applications for 15 or more (net) residential units are required to make a contribution to affordable housing equivalent to 40% of the new housing in accordance with the Local Plan. This is done through the provision of dwellings on site, or in exceptional circumstances through financial or other contributions. In any case the amount to be provided will, from 1 December, now have deducted from that calculated provision a 'credit' equivalent to the gross internal floorspace of any existing vacant building brought back into use or demolished as part of the scheme.
The Council will no longer be requiring contributions to infrastructure for sites of 1 - 10 proposed dwellings, as long as the total cumulative gross internal floorspace of the proposed development is also below 1,000 sqm. Contributions for the Thames Basin Heath SPA and SAMM will still be necessary in all relevant cases and the Council's proforma Unilateral Undertaking has been updated to reflect this. The tariff calculator is still available to view on line for schemes proposing 11 or more dwellings.
Relevant applications that have not yet been determined will be assessed under the new guidance, and on small scale sites where the planning infrastructure tariff was previously necessary, it may no longer be required. If you have submitted a relevant application recently, whether or not it is valid, your Case Officer will be contacting you shortly to discuss the new guidance.