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Planning obligations

Latest draft guidance on planning obligations

Planning obligations (sometimes known as Section 106 requirements) are used by the council to allow, in appropriate circumstances, planning permission to be granted for development proposals that might have otherwise been considered unacceptable in planning terms.

Planning obligations are used to secure affordable housing and for other measures to mitigate the specific impacts of a development. 

The council’s latest draft guidance on the use of planning obligations including the legal framework for their use is set out in the Draft Supplementary Planning document (PDF, 1MB)

This document was prepared and consulted on as part of the preparation of the council’s Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charging Schedule in 2015. This document will be reviewed following the publication of the draft City Plan.

Planning obligations are secured through a legal agreement or unilateral undertaking. The council’s model agreement is currently being updated and will shortly be available on this page.  

CIL also applies to certain developments in Westminster. Find out more about CIL

Existing guidance on planning obligations

Guidance on planning obligations was previously set out in the Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) on Planning Obligations. This guidance remains in effect although parts of it have been superseded by the Community Infrastructure Levy regulations. 

Linked to this, the council also adopted an SPG on Public Realm Credits (PDF, 3MB). Subject to a number of conditions, this enables developers to invest in the council’s priority public realm schemes on the proviso that the investment can be used to offset a future planning obligation requirement to pay a financial contribution towards public realm improvement works.

Westminster Carbon Offset Fund

Westminster carbon offset payments are a form of planning obligation collected to address any associated carbon emissions arising from the new development. The Carbon Offset Fund guidance sets out the approach to collecting and allocating carbon offset funds within Westminster in accordance with local and London-wide policy.

Westminster Carbon Offset Fund guidance, 2020

Last updated: 10 March 2020