[holding answer 17 September 2007]: Planning obligations (s06 agreements) are private agreements negotiated between local planning authorities and persons with an interest in a piece of land, usually in the context of planning applications. They are intended to make acceptable development which would otherwise be unacceptable in planning terms. They may be used to prescribe the nature of the development, or to secure a contribution from a developer to compensate for loss or damage created by a development or to mitigate a developments impact. Planning obligations should never be used purely as a means of securing for the local community a share in the profits of a development.
Local planning authorities should include in their development plan documents, policies about use of planning obligations. The process of setting planning obligation policies and negotiating planning obligations should be conducted as openly, fairly and reasonably as possible. The Planning and Compulsory Purchase act 2004 requires regional planning bodies and local planning authorities to prepare a Statement of Community Involvement, in which they set out their policy on involving their community in preparing regional spatial strategies, local development documents and consulting on planning applications.