What are planning obligations?

    Planning obligations (also known as Section 106 Agreements) are legal agreements negotiated between developers and the local planning authority. They are intended to mitigate or offset the negative impacts of a development or to prescribe the nature of a development.

    Planning obligations can be financial (i.e. a payment made to the Council) or non-financial (e.g. affordable housing, affordable workspace and carbon emission reduction).

    Planning obligations have to meet the Regulation 122 statutory tests where they 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

    What does the Planning Obligations SPD cover and what is its purpose?

    The Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) is a guidance document which explains the council’s approach to using planning obligations. The SPD sets out the circumstances under which planning obligations will be sought.

    The SPD provides additional guidance on matters covered in the Tower Hamlets Local Plan (2020) and is a material consideration in the determination of planning applications. 

    Why is the Planning Obligations SPD being updated?

    The Tower Hamlets Local Plan (2020) and Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule have both recently been updated.

    The Planning Obligations SPD needs to be reviewed and updated so that it aligns with these documents and provides appropriate guidance on how developer contributions will deliver site-specific mitigation and meet infrastructure requirements

    Once it has been adopted, the draft SPD will replace the previous Planning Obligations SPD that was passed in 2016. 

    Who should read it?

    The SPD has been prepared to provide advice to developers, landowners, residents and other stakeholders on the Borough’s position regarding the use of Section 106 planning obligations.

    The SPD and associated documents can be accessed from the document library panel on this page, at the Tower Hamlets Town Hall and at Idea Stores and libraries in the borough. 

    How do I provide feedback?

    Two rounds of public consultation will be held on the draft Planning Obligations SPD with the first taking place Friday 13 March to 5pm Sunday 26 April. A further consultation (dates TBC) will be held prior to adoption.

    You can provide feedback by:

    Filling out the online survey on this page.

    Visiting an Idea Store, library or the Tower Hamlets Town Hall to complete a paper copy questionnaire.

    Emailing your comments to Infrastructure.Planning@towerhamlets.gov.uk