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POS Launches Best Practice Advice on Use of Conditions in Place of s106 Agreements

Date: 17/3/2005

At its Annual Seminar on Friday 18th March the Planning Officers Society launched a new best practice advice note on the use of conditions in place of a s106 agreement, endorsed by the ODPM.

For over two decades central government has been concerned with the speed with which planning applications have been determined. The Planning Officers Society, whilst acknowledging that speed is but one element of an efficient planning service, has been more focussed on achieving quality in terms of outcomes, and the debate on speed vs. quality has been ranging ever since. The applicant on the other hand, has been concerned with certainty, not least whether or not the scheme will be granted planning permission, but also how much it will cost in terms of community benefits.

Graham Jones, Senior Vice President of POS said “I am pleased to announce today that the Society is publishing a best practice note, which for a number of applications draws these three elements together, and provides guidance to practitioners as to how to determine important applications in a timely manner, providing certainty for the applicant and with the objective of delivering quality outcomes.”

The determination of major planning applications can be delayed by the requirement for the applicant to enter into a Section 106 obligation. In a limited range of appropriate circumstances it is possible to use Grampian conditions as a prelude to obligations being entered into, so as to enable the application to be determined, but preventing implementation of the permission until such time that alternative arrangements i.e. s106 obligation have been put in place.

Phil Kirby, Chairman of the Society’s Development Control Topic Group that prepared the paper in consultation with the ODPM said at the launch “The best practice note explains this process and identifies model conditions which can be used to enable planning permissions to be issued, rather than wait for the legal completion of the s106 obligation.”

The Society commends the best practice note to all local planning authorities.


The determination of major planning applications can be delayed by the requirement for the applicant to enter into a Section 106 obligation. In a limited range of appropriate circumstances it is possible to use Grampian conditions as a prelude to obligations being entered into, so as to enable the application to be determined, but preventing implementation of the permission until such time that alternative arrangements i.e. s106 obligation has been put in place.

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