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Digital Subscriptions > Build It > May 2017 > What you need to know about Planning Obligations

What you need to know about Planning Obligations

What are they and how do they work? Mike Dade looks into when planning obligations can be helpful and when they can become a project burden

Sometimes it’s necessary to pay extra sums of money to your local council to secure planning permission via what is known as a planning obligation. This will lead to additional costs before any work even starts on site, plus it can cause delays to the planning process. So the question is, what does a planning obligation mean for your project – is it helpful or a burden, can its impact be reduced or avoided, can you get rid of it and what if you’re buying a property that already has one attached to it?

The basics

Planning obligations exist to help reduce the impact of projects deemed to be unacceptable development. They are a formal, legally-binding document that requires you to pay money to the council (known as planning contributions) or to do/not do something specific to your project.

This can be instigated in the form of an agreement between you and the Local Authority (LA) or through what’s known as a unilateral undertaking, which is where the homeowner puts forward a simplified application that highlights the planning obligations without the prior agreement of the council. Planning obligations are also sometimes referred to as a planning agreement, Section 106 agreement, Article 40 in Northern Ireland or Section 75 in Scotland.

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About Build It

The May edition of Build It magazine brings you all the inspiration & practical advice you need to complete your home building project on time and on budget, including: • A stunning light-filled contemporary bungalow transformation (page 20) • Discover the right build system for your project (page 60) • Choose a modern front door (page 71) • A complete guide to loft conversions (page 80) • Top tips for your lighting design (page 90) • Common plot issues and how to overcome them (page 97) • Dealing with damp (page 103) … and more!
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