2.1 Legislative Context

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Draft Planning Obligations SPD

Representation ID: 28507

Received: 11/07/2014

Respondent: Savills

Agent: Savills

Representation Summary:

Savills consider that the latest amendments to the CIL regulations should be referred to in this section alongside other legislation and in turn fully considered as part of the production of this document.

Full text:

Savills consider that the latest amendments to the CIL regulations should be referred to in this section alongside other legislation and in turn fully considered as part of the production of this document.


Draft Planning Obligations SPD

Representation ID: 28595

Received: 15/07/2014

Respondent: Berkeley Homes

Agent: Boyer Planning

Representation Summary:

No mention has been made of the PPG, which includes a specific section on planning obligaitons, despite being launched in March 2014. Paragraph 10-010 of the PPG, which states that planning authorities should be sufficiently flexible, when requiring obligations to prevent planned development being stalled. Other sections of the PPG are also of relevance - Viability, CIL and the use of Planning Conditions. It would be appropriate to include a sub-section within Section 2 relating to afforadable so that developers are aware of a seperate SPD.

Full text:


1. Following the success of previous developments within Cambridge, Berkeley Homes are keen to pursue further opportunities in the city. As you will be aware Berkeley Homes submitted representations on both the Preliminary Draft and Draft CIL Charging Schedule documents that were consulted upon in 2013 and, with potential development interests in Cambridge in mind, the group has considered the draft Planning Obligations SPD, along with the Affordable Housing SPD which has been published for consultation simultaneously.

2. This draft Planning Obligations SPD has been carefully considered to ensure that the guidance is compliant with relevant regulations and national planning guidance and provides developers with appropriate support and clarity of the Council's process and procedures for using planning obligations. As asserted in both the National Planning Policy Framework (paragraph 153) and the National Planning Practice Guidance (ID 26B-003) SPDs should be published to aid developers through the application and infrastructure delivery process and should not be used to add unnecessarily to the financial burdens on development or to set rates or charges which have not been established through development plan policy.

3. In consideration of this draft SPD, regard has been had to the emerging Cambridge Local Plan 2014: Proposed Submission, particularly to Policy 85 - Infrastructure delivery, planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy, the Cambridge CIL Charging Schedule - Submission Version, as well as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) and the National Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) to ensure that the proposed SPD accords with the policy and guidance set out by Government.

4. The relationship between the emerging CIL regime, Affordable Housing SPD and this Draft Planning Obligations SPD are of particular importance, in view of the combined implications these will have for the delivery of housing and related infrastructure in Cambridge City in the context of significant housing need and Government policy on both the need to secure housing growth and the need to have regard to viability considerations. Furthermore it was noted within our previous representations to the CIL documents that the Planning Obligations SPD was to fulfil a key role in providing additional clarification regarding the operation of these parallel charging mechanisms, and therefore the extent to which this has been achieved is of particular interest.

Section 2 - Legislative and Planning Policy Context

5. It is noted that no mention has been made of the PPG, which includes a specific section on planning obligations, despite this being launched in M arch 2014, and therefore well before the Draft SPD being consulted upon. This should clearly have been a key consideration, particularly paragraph ID
10-010, where it states that "The National Planning Policy Framework is clear that local planning authorities, when requiring obligations, should be sufficiently flexible to prevent planned development being stalled".

6. Other sections within the PPG would also be of relevance, including those relating to Viability, Community Infrastructure Levy and the Use of Planning Conditions.

7. The description of CIL provided at paragraph 2.3.1 is not considered to provide a clear explanation.
Rather than suggesting that "CIL receipts are not earmarked for particular infrastructure", it would be more accurate to replace the second and third sentences and say that, Unlike Section 106 Planning Obligations, which are used to directly address an unacceptable impact of the development, CIL revenues from numerous developments will be pooled together to fund defined infrastructure projects that are needed to support new development across the City Council's administrative area. The Council's CIL Regulation 123 List sets out the infrastructure that can be funded in whole or part by CIL.

8. It would be appropriate to include a short sub-section within Section 2.0 relating to the Affordable Housing SPD to ensure that developers are aware that affordable housing obligations are covered by a separate SPD.

Section 3 - Cambridge City Council Approach to Planning Obligations and CIL

9. It is welcomed that the guidance refers back to CIL requirements throughout the document and sets out at Table 1 the S106/conditions requirements alongside those for CIL in an attempt to demonstrate the distinction between these.

10. The distinction is considered to be clearest where the infrastructure type is not split between the two regimes, such as with affordable housing and education. For the other infrastructure types, where separate components/projects for an infrastructure type will be funded by contributions from both planning obligations and CIL, for example Transport, there remains insufficient clarity in the guidance as to how the distinction is to be made. It is unclear for instance what constitutes a 'strategic highways or transport' matter, as opposed to one with site-specific relevance. The guidance provided has gone someway to give an indication, but it is by no means exhaustive and therefore remains ambiguous and open to misinterpretation.

11. It would not be unfeasible for the Authority to provide a list of matters that the Council approves as being necessary and that justify obligations being sought from new developments in the area, as other Authorities have done so. Such a list could easily be caveated with guidance to inform developers that it should not necessarily be regarded as definitive for the following reasons - firstly, the extent of specific obligations listed would represent the contributions that the Council currently consider appropriate to seek and that they will be periodically reviewed and updated; and secondly, the need for planning obligations has to be considered on a case-by-case basis and as such not all development proposals may give rise to them and, conversely, certain types of development may, perhaps because of size or complexity, create impacts that give rise to more extensive obligations than are set out in the guidance. By adopting this approach, the Authority would provide developers with a far greater indication of the nature of projects and funding required, without this necessarily being unduly restrictive, particularly given the acknowledged importance for application of a degree of flexibility.

Section 4 - Transport

12. The point raised in paragraph 9 above can be demonstrated further through Section 4. Paragraphs
4.3.1 and 4.4.1 set out to explain what can be funded by CIL and Planning Obligations respectively, however, they both list measures such as traffic calming, walking, cycling and public transport enhancements. It is stated that capacity improvements would be funded through CIL, however this could surely include junction improvements which itself is listed under planning obligations. It is unclear where the line is drawn to determine where funding shall be provided for such measures, with resulting potential for confusion in applying the guidance.

Section 5 - Open Space and Recreation

13. The breakdown of maintenance costs for the different forms of open space and recreation facilities is welcomed as it provides a definitive list of the associated costs.

Section 7 - Public Art

14. It is welcomed that S106 planning obligations will not be used to secure public art. However, it is noted that paragraph 7.4.1. states that all major developments of 10 or more dwellings, or greater than 0.5ha, will be required to make provision for public art in order to mitigate impacts of the development. More flexibility should be given to the requirement for public art, with cases looked at on an individual bases to determine whether there are sufficient detrimental impacts to warrant the need for public art provision. Where schemes have adopted high design standards and given appropriate consideration to the adoption of urban design principles and landscaping within the development, it may be questionable whether there would be significant detriment to the physical environment and setting of the site to require further provision for public art, particularly for small scale major developments.

Section 11 - Implementation

15. Subsection 11.1 Negotiation/Viability provides useful guidance on the Authority's approach to viability and the scope for negotiation on planning obligations. The recommended use of the Homes and Communities Agency's Development Appraisal Tool and references made to provisions within legislation are welcomed.