New developments in West Northamptonshire drive the delivery of new homes, jobs and economic growth for the area. However, development can also place additional pressures on existing infrastructure and services, such as schools, community and leisure facilities, highways and transport infrastructure, health services and the environment.
In order for Council services to continue to run effectively, it is often necessary for developers to contribute towards the provision of new or expanded infrastructure to mitigate the impacts of development.
Planning obligations are one of the mechanisms (in conjunction with the Community Infrastructure Levy, highways agreements and planning conditions) through which developers of land contribute towards the provision of facilities and infrastructure, which are necessary to support the growth of West Northamptonshire. These can be in the form of financial contributions towards facilities and services, or in some cases directly delivering such infrastructure through physical works.
Planning obligations are secured through a Section 106 agreement - legal documents that bind the land and ensure the impact of the development on local infrastructure can be effectively mitigated.
Ensuring we have a robust policy supported by an up to date evidence base is critical when seeking to secure Section 106 contributions, in order to demonstrate that the requirements are:
- 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
Our approach to securing Section 106 developer contributions is set out in a range of adopted policies, developed as part of the local planning framework. For a detailed list of the policies operating across West Northamptonshire, please visit the relevant planning policy page for the area in which the development is situated:
In addition to the policies listed for these areas, our adopted “Creating Sustainable Communities: Planning Obligations Framework and Guidance” sets our approach to securing Section 106 obligations towards Education, Libraries and Digital Infrastructure services.
To request a copy of this document please email [email protected].
The document was formally adopted as a policy document by the former county council in January 2015 and to accompany the Obligations Framework, the Council commissions Pupil Generation Forecast surveys, which provide supporting evidence base for calculating the number of school children a development is likely to generate:
We will review and update adopted policies and evidence base as appropriate to ensure a transparent and consistent approach to securing planning obligations.
Infrastructure Funding Statement
In accordance with the Community Infrastructure Levy (Amendment) (England) (No.2) Regulations 2019, all councils in receipt of developer contributions are required to produce an annual Infrastructure Funding Statement (IFS). The IFS provides a summary of the Section 106 (and CIL) financial contributions secured and received as a result of new development, for the purposes of providing the infrastructure necessary to support growth. The purpose of this document is to provide clarity and transparency to local communities and developers on infrastructure expenditure.
West Northamptonshire Council's Infrastructure Funding Statement(s) is published annually and sets out progress on securing, collecting and spending Section 106 monies during the reporting period 1 April to 31 March. The IFS also considers planned Section 106 expenditure over the next reporting period and beyond.
The first IFS for West Northamptonshire Council will be published on or before 31 December 2022.
For previous IFS reports issued by former borough and district councils prior to 1 April 2021 please refer to the planning pages for the relevant geographic area. The IFS published by the former county council for the period 1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021 is available below:
Travel plan guidance
We expect developments (both commercial and residential) to produce travel plans as part of the planning process. This is in order to achieve transport modal shift targets in the area.
The commercial travel plan and residential plan templates set out the desired structure and content of travel plans expected for agreement and approval by the council.
To request a copy of these documents please email [email protected]hants.gov.uk.
The templates follow the advice contained in the Department for Transport guidelines do and act as a definitive guide to the expectations of the Council.
Last updated 06 March 2023