Planning obligations

Planning and building control

Planning obligations are used as part of the planning application process to address specific planning issues and impacts arising from a development proposal.

They are normally agreed between the council, land owners and developers in a legal agreement called a Section 106 (S106) agreement. Planning obligations are intended to make acceptable a development that would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms.

The Planning Obligations SPD (2017) was adopted on 16 May 2017. This revised document replaces the 2014 Planning Obligations SPD. It provides updated guidance relating to current policies and regulations on planning obligations and Section 106 agreements and how these work alongside the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in securing the appropriate contributions required to support growth in Waltham Forest.

The SPD, Adoption Notice and Consultation Statement can be viewed through the links below:

From 1 October 2016, any new homes forming part of major developments are required to offset all carbon emissions to 100% or zero carbon emissions.

This has been set out by the Mayor of London to achieve the London Plan policy aim of zero carbon homes for major developments in the housing supplementary planning guidance, published in March 2016.

This will achieve the 100% CO2 reduction target for new zero carbon homes as set out in London Plan policy 5.2.

Download the carbon offset fund changes here

The Council has received interim advice from Natural England, as “appropriate conservation body” for the purposes of the Conservation of Habitats and Species Regulation 2017, concerning the assessment for the purposes of the 2017 Regulations of impact of increased recreational pressure on the integrity of the Epping Forest SAC arising from new residential development.

Natural England’s advice has great weight and the Council has a duty to follow it. At present, in order to comply with the 2017 regulations and March 2019 advice, all residential development that falls within the 6.2km ‘zone of influence’ will be subject to a project-level HRA screening and where necessary, appropriate assessment.

Natural England advice letter - Emerging strategic approach relating to the Epping Forest Special Area of Conservation (SAC) Mitigation Strategy. Interim advice following feedback from London Borough’s and Greater London Authority.

The Council (as the ‘competent authority’ under 2017 regulations) will carry out the screening and any required appropriate assessment at the planning application stage.

Residential developments which will be subject to screening include:

  • New dwellings of 1+ units (excludes replacement dwellings and extensions)
  • Houses in Multiple Occupations (HMOs)
  • Student accommodation
  • Residential care homes and residential institutions (excludes nursing homes)
  • Residential caravan sites (excludes holiday caravans and campsites)
  • Gypsies, Travellers and travelling show people plots

The Council’s starting point is that residential development applications within the 6.2 km zone are likely to have a significant effect on the integrity of the Epping Forest SAC - as a result of increased recreational pressure. As such, suitable mitigation will be required in order for a conclusion to be reached, via appropriate assessment, that no adverse effects on the integrity of the SAC will arise in order for planning permission to be granted.

‘Suitable mitigation’ may be in the form of financial contributions to management of the SAC and/or contributions (physical or financial) to suitable alternative natural green space (SANGs) that can alleviate recreational pressures on the SAC. In partnership with Natural England, we will assess how specific contributions and/or measures are calculated and identified for each development according to the scale and location of the proposal.

Further information Click to get info


You can read about the Community Infrastructure Levy here 

Development viability Protocol

The London Borough of Waltham Forest is a member of the London Borough Viability Group, which draws together planning, housing and surveying officers from councils across London to consider best practice in the assessment of viability.

The group consulted on a draft London Borough Viability Protocol document between 22 February and 20 March 2016, which aims to provide greater clarity to developers and members of the public on the consideration of development viability within the planning process, drawing on best practice in line with the national planning policy framework and the planning practice guidance.

The London Borough Viability Protocol was published on 29 November 2016 and can be viewed here

Contact Click to get info

Planning Policy Team
Environment and Regeneration
The Magistrates, 1 Farnan Avenue, Walthamstow, London E17 4NX