Section 106 - Impact of the implementation of the policy in delivering the city's priorities
Report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing attached
This report sets out the City's current Section 106 policy, examines the impact of the S106 contributions and considers the future direction of travel, in light of nationally proposed planning reforms.
The Committee considered a report of the Director of Planning, Building Control and Licensing which outlined the City’s s.106 policy and examined the impact of s.106 contributions and the future direction of travel in light of the proposed national planning reforms.
Key points and themes in the report included:
- Significant benefits can be achieved separate to s.106 with the planning process as a whole supporting substantial investment in Manchester
- The creation of the HAF presents the Council with a real opportunity to invest directly into the provision of affordable homes in Manchester
- The number of s.106 agreements signed has remained consistent with previous years despite the pandemic
- The government’s planning white paper proposes reforms to s.106 and the CIL system and as such the future role remains uncertain
Some of the key points that arose from the Committee’s discussions were:
- Councillor Rawlins and White introduced the report stating how s.106 is just one of the tools available to the Council but provides a means to bring in funding for the Housing Affordability Fund to deliver inclusive growth for all across the city;
- The committee considered whether developers generally follow-through on their s.106 agreements, how many historic agreements remain outstanding and what clawback mechanisms exist;
- Why do so few major developments provide s.106 funding with the schemes in the report being small-scale, and is CIL worthwhile in Manchester?
- Due to the allocation of resources between committees it can be difficult to scrutinise. hat’s the process if there’s no money left in the development company and how can it be reviewed?
- there is a sense of dissatisfaction around s.106 policy in Manchester and a feeling of a slight fragmentation of the wider picture. Wider insight can only be achieved by asking for full details.
The Director of Planning, Licensing and Building control introduced the report stating that s.106 is just one small part of the wider planning process which delivers the city’s priorities as a whole. If all schemes come forward across the city, 45,000 jobs would come forward so it’s important to put the context forward around the planning process.
S.106 are legally stringent obligations but their future remains uncertain in policy terms. The Community Infrastructure Levy is not collected in Manchester and wouldn’t work for the city as it’s based on values. In terms of major applications coming forward, it’s not known until they come in what the impact and s.106 requirement will be. S.106 can only be applied to mitigate harm and housing schemes in particular are tested via viability assessments.
Historically, lots of s.106 agreements sat on workbooks but new governance arrangements in the Planning Department have meant that the Council are much more active in getting the money and spending it. At some point £10m+ was held but now down to £4m and being spent. New schedule of more extensive information will go to the Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee and be circulated to members. Where the legal agreement is made, the agreement runs with the land. On Manchester schemes developers are required to provide reconciliation before completion to ensure that any uplift is captured. It can be difficult to capture exactly what is delivered from each scheme (jobs aren't captured for example).
Councillor White and Councillor Rawlins set out that national planning guidance limits the scope of policy e.g affordable housing not being required below 15 units and the fact that developers can make profits before s.106 contribution comes about. As such, Manchester is bound to some extent by wider government planning policy.
- To note the report
- Committee to have oversight of the s.106 report that goes to Resources and Governance Scrutiny Committee
- Section 106 – Impact of the implementation of the policy in delivering the city's priorities, item 37. PDF 382 KB
- Appendix 1 - S106 agreements completed during 2019/20 and 2020/21, item 37. PDF 136 KB
- Appendix 2 - Examples of schemes supported by S106 financial agreements, item 37. PDF 2 MB