Draft Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document

Ended on the 19 January 2023
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3. Infrastructure Types

3.1. Different types of infrastructure will require different approaches to securing them. The exact approach to securing the mitigations through S106 planning obligations or other legal agreements will be agreed through development management process on an individual site by site basis (detailed guidance and considerations for different approaches are set out in Chapter 4). This chapter provides guidance on what types of planning obligations and funding mechanisms the Council will use to fund the below types of infrastructure:

  1. Strategic transport infrastructure requirements (category 1 and 2 in the IDP);
  2. Important Borough-wide infrastructure required for sustainable growth and place-making in the Borough (category 3 in the IDP);
  3. Site-specific infrastructure requirements to make development acceptable in planning terms (where these are specific to Local Plan allocated sites and also support wider objectives, they have been identified and assigned 2 in the IDP accordingly; many will only be known as applications come forward and be assessed against the Local Plan policies).

3.2. The categorisation of infrastructure types above is informed by the IDP priority ranking, summarised below:

  1. Category 1: strategic transport infrastructure that are critical to the delivery of the Local Plan, the provision of which must be in place at the right time to support development.
  2. Category 2: necessary infrastructure to mitigate the impacts arising from development or to support wider strategic or site-specific objectives which are set out in planning policy or are subject to a statutory duty. It enables development to come forward in a way that is both sustainable and acceptable in planning terms. Development may be able to commence ahead of its provision.
  3. Category 3: important Borough-wide infrastructure that is required for sustainable growth and place-making, development may be able to commence ahead of its provision.
  4. The IDP does not concern site-specific infrastructure unless it falls under category 1 and 2 above.

3.3. Developer contributions will be sought towards category 1, category 2, and site-specific infrastructure, whilst CIL would be primarily used to fund category 3 infrastructure. However, the ability to fund the same piece of infrastructure using both S106 and CIL monies is not precluded.

3.4. Details of what funding mechanism is expected to apply to required infrastructure is set out within the IDP Part B.

Figure 1: The types of planning obligations and mechanisms the Council will consider using to fund its different types of infrastructure

Strategic Infrastructure: S106 Agreement, Retrospective contributions (S106), Monitor and manage (S106),  CIL. Borough wide infrastructure: CIL. Site-specific: S106 Agreement, Unilateral undertaking.

A. Strategic Transport Infrastructure

Policy background

3.5. The requirements relating to strategic and necessary transport infrastructure are underpinned by Policy MG05 Developer Contributions, Policy BE08 Strategic Transport Infrastructure, Policy BE12 Mitigating the Transport Impacts of Development and site-specific policies in the Local Plan.

The Council's approach to funding its strategic transport infrastructure

3.6. Funding for strategic and necessary transport infrastructure schemes will be secured primarily through S106 agreements to mitigate, support and facilitate planned growth.

3.7. For some strategic transport infrastructure, such as the A127 link road, the mitigation measures need to be in place or at least planned early on, because it may take time for the design, technical issues and feasibility of a project infrastructure to be finalised. Monies need to be secured so that funding is available when the detailed design is ready to enable delivery. Since no public funding has been secured or identified at this point in time, it will therefore be necessary to obtain funding from alternative sources and to collect developers' contributions retrospectively for these projects. (More details are discussed in Chapter 4, particular the 'Retrospective Contribution' section)

3.8. For other strategic transport infrastructure, the identified measures may not be required early on in the Plan period but are still strategic infrastructure that may need to be in place at the right time to support planned growth.

  1. The first challenge with this type of infrastructure is that, whilst mitigations have been identified to support planned growth in Brentwood, the infrastructure itself also accommodates the demand of the wider region. Whilst National Highways confirms that Brentwood is not required to address traffic from the wider region, there will need to be a holistic approach in the planning and delivery of this infrastructure to avoid piecemeal improvements.
  2. Another challenge associated with this type of infrastructure is that the identified mitigation measures have been modelled under the worst-case scenario assumptions; considering there is a desire to move towards more sustainable forms of travels, there is a need to generate more evidence of development's impact on the strategic road network and to positively challenge developers to keep their traffic impacts well below the worst-case scenarios.
  3. As such there needs to be a more innovative and bespoke approach in securing S106 contributions to this type of infrastructure. (More details are discussed in Chapter 4, particularly the 'Monitor and Manage' section)

3.9. In addition, Section 278 (S278) agreements may be relevant for specific transport schemes to be arranged through the highway authorities (Essex County Council and National Highways). Where necessary, the County Council and National Highways may require developers to enter into a S278 agreement to fully pay or make contributions towards mitigation measures that address the individual and cumulative impacts of the development scheme on the highway network. In some cases, a developer may be required to carry out the works in lieu of payment.

3.10. The Local Plan is clear that the timely delivery of strategic and necessary infrastructure is central to sustainable growth. In some instances, delivery in advance of all contributions having been collected may be required.

The cost and funding gap of strategic infrastructure

3.11. The Council will seek to apportion the costs to fund strategic infrastructure as required through S106 obligations.

3.12. The Council acknowledges that the costs and funding gaps of infrastructure are likely to change from time to time. As a live document, the IDP is subject to a flexible regime of review. The Council will update the IDP where new or updated information becomes available and make amendments to the IDP and the level of funding gap on this basis.

3.13. At this moment in time, no external funding has been made available towards the identified strategic and critical infrastructure. There is a realistic expectation that sources of external funding may become available where required and that the necessary steps have been taken to access this funding and address the funding gap. Further details on potential sources of external funding are set out within Chapter 15 of the IDP. However, the Council must ensure that growth will still be deliverable if funding turns out not to be forthcoming. As such, a worst-case scenario where external funding is not available has been assumed in calculating the developer contributions to inform site viability and ensure that critical projects can and will be delivered to support planned growth. Where external funding becomes available, the IDP will be updated to reflect the remaining funding gap. Further guidance on when external funding becomes available is discussed in Chapter 5 (Considerations in Drafting Section 106 Agreement) of this document. It should not be assumed that any identified infrastructure costs or funding gaps are to be covered by the Council or Statutory Bodies such as Essex County Council and National Highways.

Apportionment

3.14. The approach to apportioning the costs of strategic and necessary infrastructure to the Local Plan site allocations is discussed in Chapter 15 of the IDP.

3.15. Based on this apportionment methodology, a worksheet detailing indicative developer contribution for each site allocation against each infrastructure requirements has been drawn up. This will be set out in the forthcoming IDP Part C. The IDP Part C should be used as a guidance only, the precise level of contributions will depend on the quantum, mix and location of the proposal, the existing capacity of the infrastructure and available funding at the time the application is submitted. This should be the subject of detailed consideration at the pre-application or application stage.

Non- allocated development

3.16. Where development is proposed on non-allocated sites in the vicinity of the identified strategic and necessary infrastructure and development will benefit or be acceptable due to the said infrastructure, landowners and developers of those sites may also be required by the Council to contribute towards the cost of such strategic infrastructure via a S106 agreement. The Council shall determine on a case-by-case basis, in line with the statutory tests for planning obligations, whether such contributions or a proportion thereof, should be payable.

B. Important Place-making Infrastructure Requirements

3.17. Important place-making infrastructure in the context of this SPD is category 3 items in the IDP.

3.18. The Council intends to fund place-making infrastructure primarily via CIL. This is because whilst CIL is an effective tool to generate income towards the provision of infrastructure, one notable issue with CIL is that revenue is contingent upon development being brought forward, and payments may be phased so as not to impact negatively upon development cash flow, and in turn, viability. CIL revenues are therefore volatile and uncertain as they are linked to new developments and the receipts may change with the economic cycle. The incremental nature in which it is collected means that it cannot solely be relied upon to fund the Borough's strategic infrastructure in its entirety.

C. Site Specific Infrastructure Requirements

3.19. Site specific infrastructure requirements are to make a development proposal (that would not be acceptable otherwise) acceptable in planning terms and will be determined on a case-by-case basis, in consideration of relevant policies, and secured via S106, S278 or other legal agreements.

3.20. Site specific infrastructure requirements are underpinned by the Local Plan policies, and its supporting evidence base documents. These requirements apply to development on allocated as well as non-allocated sites.

3.21. The following tables in this section set out the obligation types which may be required as part of any S106 agreement, the policy background to requiring such obligations, when the obligation is expected to be provided, any exceptions and any other relevant information. The exact approach to securing site-specific infrastructure will be agreed through the development management process. Obligations set out in this section may not otherwise be secured through a planning condition. As is the case for obligations, conditions will be used to make development acceptable which would otherwise be considered unacceptable. Conditions will typically apply to on-site works such as public realm improvements or issues relating to the design of development. For clarity, impacts which the Council will seek to address through condition have been included following each thematic section. This is not an exhaustive list of matters which the Council may seek to address via condition.
 


[1] Please note: Planning law prescribes circumstances where local planning authorities are required to consult specified bodies prior to a decision being made on an application. However, not all statutory consultees are consulted on all planning applications. The circumstances for statutory consultation are set out in the Development Management Procedure Order: http://www.legislation.gov.uk/uksi/2010/2184/article/20/made

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