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Developer Contributions in West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland

Development goes beyond simply finding a site and building a scheme. It has impacts in the local area that require both new infrastructure and investment in existing infrastructure such as schools and roads. This page provides information about developer contributions collected through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and planning obligations which include Section 106 Agreements (S106) and affordable housing.

What are developer contributions?

Developers may be asked to provide contributions for infrastructure in several ways. In West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland this is done by way of the CIL and planning obligations in the form of S106 and section 278 highway agreements (under section 278 of the Highways Act 1980 as amended). Developers will also have to comply with any conditions attached to their planning permission.

It is important that the combined total impact of all developer contributions does not threaten the viability of a site. S106's, in terms of developer contributions, should be focused on addressing the site specific mitigation required by a new development and to facilitate the provision of affordable housing. CIL has been developed to address the broader impacts of development. There should be no circumstances where a developer is paying CIL and S106 for the same infrastructure in relation to the same development.

CIL along with planning obligations, will allow us to raise funds from developers undertaking new building projects in our area to support and fund local infrastructure that the development and local community needs.

CIL Monitoring

CIL and S106 Annual Monitoring Document WDDC and WPBC June 2017 (pdf, 642kb) (opens in a new window)

CIL and S106 Annual Monitoring Document WDDC and WPBC Nov 2016 (pdf, 238kb) (opens in a new window)

Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) - Local Plan Policy COM1

New development can have a very positive effect on an area, providing new homes, jobs and economic prosperity. However, development can also place additional pressures on resources and infrastructure such as schools, community and leisure facilities, transport infrastructure, health services and the local environment. 

The adopted charging schedules only apply a CIL rate on proposals that create a dwelling and/or a dwelling with restricted holiday use. All other development types are therefore set a £0 per square metre CIL rate.

For more information about CIL and to find out whether your development proposal is likely to be liable for a CIL charge please look at our CIL page.

Developer contributions collected through CIL will be used to fund a wide range of infrastructure that is needed as a result of development. The money we collect through CIL will be spent on the following themes:

  • education and training facilities
  • flood mitigation and coast protection
  • transport
  • Dorset heathland mitigation
  • Poole Harbour nutrient management contribution
  • waste management facilities
  • culture and leisure facilities
  • healthcare facilities
  • emergency services facilities
  • utilities
  • public realm

 Please look at the how CIL be spent in West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland page for more information.

Planning Obligations

Where new development will generate a need for new or improved community infrastructure and this need is not met through CIL, policy COM1 of the adopted West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan we will seek to secure this through planning obligations. Some forms of infrastructure will need to be provided on-site in larger developments or, if not practicable to do so, by means of financial contribution.

In the broadest possible sense, planning obligations exist to make a development acceptable in planning terms and as such need to meet three tests:

  • necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms
  • directly related to the development; and
  • fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the development

Planning obligations will be used to secure:

  • site specific infrastructure to make the development acceptable in planning terms, for example on site open space provision and on site transport infrastructure provision
  • affordable housing (Local Plan Policy HOUS1) - including on site provision and financial contributions.
  • On site Suitable Alternative Natural Greenspace (SANG) provision, for sites which are large enough to require this level of provision.

Planning obligations will usually be either a unilateral agreement or in larger schemes a S106 planning agreement will be negotiated. They will require an developer/owner to either (a) make a financial contribution towards facilities and services or (b) in some cases providing such services/facilities as part of the development. They can also require a developer to do something or restricts what can be done with land following planning permission being granted.

These agreements are legal and binding to each site and the agreement is between the planning authority, the applicant/developer and anyone else that has an interest in the land when a planning application is approved. A planning obligation should be submitted with the planning application.

Unilateral agreements and S106's are prepared by our in house Legal Division: please note there is a cost to the applicant for the preparation of such agreements, and this is currently £135 per hour.  As part of the planning application determination, the Legal Division will be instructed to prepare the Undertaking and will contact the applicant directly with a cost undertaking to complete and to request up to date copies of the official Land Registry Title for the site.

Affordable Housing Policy - HOUS 1

The affordable housing policy HOUS 1 of the West Dorset, Weymouth and Portland Local Plan sets out that where open market housing is proposed affordable housing will also be required unless the proposal is for replacement or subdivision of an existing home. Where one or more affordable homes are being provided these should be part of the same development. Where this is not possible a financial contribution towards affordable housing elsewhere will be required to cover any shortfall for that cannot be delivered on the site. 

On 28 November 2014 a written ministerial statement (pdf, 88kb) (opens in a new window) was issued on support for small scale developers, custom and self builders. The statement introduced thresholds above which local authorities could require affordable housing and introduced a 'credit' for the re-use of vacant buildings.

The thresholds where the councils could continue to seek affordable housing are:

  • on sites of more than 10 units or more than 1,000 square metres
  • on sites of more than 5 units in designated rural areas

The changes were subsequently quashed but a successful appeal reintroduced the approach on the same terms from November 2015. Both West Dorset (pdf, 312kb) (opens in a new window) and Weymouth and Portland (pdf, 223kb) (opens in a new window) councils have agreed an approach which applies the change in thresholds and the vacant building credit.

The council has prepared a  guidance note (pdf, 393kb) (opens in a new window) setting out the level of contribution and a series of worked examples. The council has also prepared a contributions calculator (excel, 12kb) (opens in a new window).

Please note: Where Neighbourhood Plans have been made part of the development plan, different affordable housing percentages and thresholds may have been introduced. For a list of made plans please refer to our West Dorset, Weymouth & Portland Completed Neighbourhood Plans page.

Please also note: neither the guidance note or the calculator make provision for the change in thresholds or the vacant building credit.

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