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Planning Obligations

Volume 486: debated on Thursday 15 January 2009

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what estimate she has made of the number of local authorities who have access to section 106 monies for the purpose of building social housing which have not yet spent this money; and if she will make a statement. (246865)

Information on the number and value of agreed planning obligations for affordable housing by each local authority is not collected centrally. However, the Department for Communities and Local Government has produced research reports into the value of planning obligations in England for 2003-04 and 2005-06 based on a sample of authorities across the country. These reports are available on the Department’s website. New research covering 2007-08 has been commissioned and will be published in the summer.

The findings estimate the total value of affordable housing agreed using planning obligations has risen from around £1.2 billion in 2003-04 to £2 billion in 2005-06. Of this amount for 2005-06 £211.5 million was estimated to be attributed to agreed direct payments and the remainder account for in-kind payments. The value of affordable housing delivered in 2005-06 was estimated at £1.4 billion. The estimated value of affordable housing delivered against agreements should be considered in context, as not all of the permissions to which the agreements are attached will be implemented and some others will be renegotiated.

The Government are clear that local authorities should be open and accountable over the collection and use of s106 monies. We will explore whether more can be done to strengthen this local accountability through the Empowerment White Paper published in July 2008.