Revamp of section 106 threatens projects

Local authorities stand to lose a major income source under government plans to free developers from their obligation to pay for upkeep of landscape to their projects.

The Government's proposals are contained in a consultation document on planning obligations, or section 106 agreements, allowing for upkeep of open space.

The Landscape Institute said the proposals fly in the face of a coalition promise to promote green spaces and address climate change.

The onus on developers, who paid for and funded upkeep of green spaces based on the impact of their urban projects, would swing to local authorities for maintenance.

"This will have very serious implications," said policy expert Ian Phillips. "Green space provided by the developer immediately becomes a burden on the council.

"It will include street trees, nature reserves, parks, gardens and sports pitches. The worry is that the public sector is already facing huge funding cuts.

"This will stop an existing funding stream, which might make councils reluctant to have green spaces because they can't afford to maintain them."

Phillips said the consultation was prompted to avoid overlap with the community infrastructure levy (CIL) introduced by Labour just before the election. This let councils recover capital payments for landscape but not ongoing costs, and "it may be unintentional but they have thrown out the baby with the bath water", he said.

The Landscape Institute wants talks with the local government department, which said it was looking at responses. A representative for English Heritage said the policy would exclude the possibility of developer contributions for subsequent upkeep of landscape.

She added: "This has the potential to discourage investment in heritage assets and would have a disproportionate impact on the historic environment as a whole."


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Sargent's solutions - how to avoid the traps of 'professional non-payers'

Sargent's solutions - how to avoid the traps of 'professional non-payers'

Be wary of unscrupulous clients who may look for loopholes to avoid settling up at the end of a job, Alan Sargent warns.

Living walls

Living walls

The benefits of green walls make them worth investigation by all green-space professionals, says Miranda Kimberley.

Business planning - improving productivity through training

Business planning - improving productivity through training

How to create a structured training programme for your staff to give your business a competitive edge, by Neville Stein.


Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

BALI National Landscape Awards 2017

Read all about the winning projects in the awards, run in association with Horticulture Week.

-Download the Digital Edition

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Industry Data

An exclusive report for HW subscribers revealing the key development trends, clients and locations for 2017.

Products & Kit Resources

Noel Farrer

Founding partner of Farrer Huxley Associates Noel Farrer on landscape and green space
 

Read Noel Farrer