Section 106 Agreements | Colchester Borough Council

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Section 106 Agreements

TEST: Article

Legal agreements between a Council and a developer or other parties, that ensure extra works related to a development are undertaken.


  • What is a Section 106 Agreement
  • What areas could attract obligations
  • What supporting documents are needed
  • How much this costs

In order for planning permission to be issued for major developments (defined as 10 dwellings or more, 1,000 square metres floorspace, sites over 1Ha etc) usually a section 106 agreement must be completed. 

S106 agreements, also known as "Planning Obligations", are legal agreements between a Council and a developer or other parties, or can be offered unilaterally by a developer, that ensure extra works related to a development are undertaken.

View Developer Contributions

S106 agreements will be considered when a development will have negative impacts on the local area that can't be mitigated by means of conditions attached to the planning permission.

For example, a new residential development can place additional pressure on the social, physical and economic infrastructure which already exists in the surrounding area.

Planning Obligations aim to balance this extra pressure with improvements to the surrounding area to ensure that a development makes a positive contribution to the local area and community.

All applications are assessed on a case by case basis and not all developments will require obligations.

Read more on the Planning Portal

Existing S106 Agreements can be found on our planning website.

Search for S106 agreements

Type of obligations

The Government gives guidance on S106 agreements, which states the obligations must be:

  • Relevant to planning
  • Necessary to make the proposed development acceptable in planning terms
  • Directly related to the proposed development
  • Fairly and reasonably related in scale and kind to the proposed development
  • Reasonable in all other respects

Read more on the Government's site

Areas which could attract potential obligations include:

  • Affordable Housing
  • Primary and Secondary Education
  • Creation, maintenance and adoption of open spaces and recreational facilities
  • Community or Affordable Workshop space
  • CCTV
  • Provision or adoption of new highways and public rights of way
  • Travel Plans
  • The removal of new residents' rights to parking permits
  • Local employment and training strategies
  • Measures to encourage sustainability and bio-diversity, such as green roofs etc

Major Applications requiring a S106 Agreement

Where significant impacts are expected, we and the developer will negotiate a S106 Agreement, advising the necessary items that the developer must do or provide to balance the impacts.

We consider all major applications (i.e. those which involve the provision of 10 or more units or 1,000 sq m or more of commercial space) as they're most likely to have a level of negative impact that will require mitigation.

Our Development Team meets every fortnight to determine potential planning obligations for individual applications in partnership with the Planning Officer.

Vacant Building Credit

Vacant building credit was introduced following the ministerial statement released on the 28th November 2014 and provides incentives to developers to bring forward development on brownfield sites which contain vacant buildings that are capable of beneficial use.

Read more on the Government's site

Other Guidance

The Government have set out the latest planning practice guidance on their planning obligations website.

Read more on the Government's site

The Practice Guidance builds upon the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) which specifically addresses planning obligations in paragraphs 203-205.

View the National Planning Policy Framework

There is also useful information regarding the legal tests for seeking planning obligations, more information about Section 106, highway matters and the latest planning news.

What supporting documents do you need?

We recommend you submit a pre-application for complex major applications so that the S106 requirements ("Heads of Terms") can be identified and agreed as early as possible.

View Heads of Terms template


We charge a Legal Fee for the preparation, checking and production of S106 Agreements and Undertakings.

These fees are included in the S106 Agreement or Undertaking and become payable in the period after approving planning permission and before the formal completion of the Agreement or Undertaking.


We recommend you submit a pre-application for complex major applications so that key principles can be identified and agreed as early as possible.

Submit a pre application

If you know you need planning permission, but don't want specific advice.

Apply for planning permission

Application Forms

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