Section 106 changes to kick start stalled homes
Expert planning brokers will be sent into local authorities to renegotiate planning deals and kickstart stalled housing projects, the government has announced.
Communities secretary Eric Pickles said ‘economically unrealistic’ section 106 deals are blocking the path of house building, and he will send planners in to councils to renegotiate the agreements.
Section 106 deals require developers to make a financial contribution to the community or provide affordable housing or infrastructure as part of their planning permission.
The teams of intermediaries will now offer free advice to councils and developers, provide technical help and act as go-betweens in disputes.
Councils in Leeds, Ipswich, Corby, Swindon, Ashford, Gloucester, Kirklees, Carlisle, Northumberland and Durham will be the first councils to receive help.
The government has also launched a consultation that proposes giving developers the option to ask councils to renegotiate section 106 obligations if they were agreed prior to April 2010. Currently these obligations cannot be renegotiated for five years once a council refuses a request for voluntary renegotiation by a developer.
Mr Pickles said: ‘Tackling problems with stalled development is essential to getting builders back on moth-balled sites and building the homes we need. There is huge potential in sites to boost local economies and we simply cannot afford to have them lying idle because of earlier agreements that are no longer viable.
‘The support and advice the expert brokers will offer is one of the many measures we have introduced to get development underway and I hope councils grab this chance to make use of the support we are offering.’
Government figures put the number of stalled schemes with 10 housing units or more at around 1,400.