Agenda item

Developer Contributions Guide


The Chair introduced the Developer Contributions Guide report.  The purpose of the report was to share a further draft of the Developer Contributions Guide for discussion and comment by the Committee.  The Chair drew Members attention to appendix 1 of the report, which was a further draft of the Gravesham Borough Council S106 Developer Contributions Strategy and Guide.  The purpose of the document was to provide advice and information to applicants and their advisers when their development had given rise to the need for the Council, acting in its role as the Local Planning Authority to secure mitigation,

through a s.106 legal agreement or unilateral undertaking.  The document would also provide clarity to the local community of the Council’s responsibility in this regard.


The Chair addressed each page of the document and invited the Committee to make comment and ask questions:


  • In regard to negotiation of a section 106, referred to on page 8 of the document, the Chair highlighted that it was encouraged that discussions were held at the pre-application stage.  Members queried if there was an internal negotiation mandate for the section 106 contributions and what the vetting process was for applications received.  The Head of Planning advised that if an application was addressed at the pre application stage, S.106 requests may come in from third parties, which planning officers would vet.  If an application was delegated to an officer to determine, the officer would vet any requests for section 106 contributions with the requests being signed off by the officer signing off the delegated decision.  If an application were to be heard at Planning Committee, Members would sign off the agreement.  Members were informed this was outlined in the Constitution.
  • It was queried whether requests in relation to S.106 funding were reviewed.  The Head of Planned explained that all asks were set out within each Section 106 agreement.  The Chair referenced page 10 of the paper, which outlined how requests were monitored.  After some discussion the chair added that a small fee could be requested, to ensure the Council obtained the funds once the S.106 was implemented, with a note added to page 10 of the document, gaining more power for negotiation.
  • Members attention was drawn to page 12 of the document that set out the variety of contributions that might need to be considered as part of negotiations on planning applications that require a S.106 obligation.
  • The Chair highlighted page 17 of the document in respect of KCC requests for S.106 contributions for education and the importance of keeping requests under this sector for use within the borough only.  The Head of Planning expressed that the document outlined the clear process on how third parties could obtain funds with assurance of the contributions remaining within the borough.  The Chair echoed this, adding that funding must be used for the borough’s infrastructure and to meet the needs of the borough’s residents with proof of spend being a requirement of the agreement.
  • In respect of healthcare provisions outlined on page 20 of the paper, Members used the example of the former St Joseph’s Convent Preparatory School redevelopment proposal and noted that a new health care centre had been specified, but it was in fact the amalgamation of two existing centres.  The Head of Planning explained that there was a generic contribution for healthcare, however neither the health care nor building in this particular development, were funded by a section 106 agreement.  The Chair added that S.106 would be encouraged for the funding of local doctors and GPs within the borough but not that of the NHS nationally.


The Chair expressed that the next stage would be for the Chair to agree any modifications to the document and for the document to be adopted as a strategy by the Council.


The Committee noted the report.


Supporting documents: