Agenda item

Interim update on progress with S.106 and CIL resources and processes


The Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management introduced the report which provided an update on progress with addressing resourcing issues involved in S.106 obligations and CIL administration.  The report was further to a report to the Committee on 7 September 2023 and subsequent resolutions from Cabinet on resourcing these key areas of work.


The Assistant Director introduced the newly recruited Planning Obligations Team Leader.


The following points were highlighted:

·        The revised S.106 Monitoring Fees charging schedule is now on the Council’s website.

·        Three of the four vacancies in the new Planning Obligations Team had now been filled.  The Planning Obligations Team Leader was now in post with two officers starting at the end of April and beginning of May.

·        The remaining S.106/CIL officer post was still unfilled, and recruitment was proving difficult as this is a very specialist area of work.  An interim agency CIL officer was currently in post pending permanent recruitment to the vacant post.

·        The development of the best practice guidance for Town and Parish Councils would be undertaken by the new Planning Obligations Team in partnership with the Towns and Parishes.

·        The Team is transitioning from the interim arrangements and the work programme is under development.


Discussion and responses to Members’ questions included the following:

·        The number of outstanding historic S.106 cases had reduced from 150 to below 100.  Outstanding CIL debt to be recovered was in excess of £400k.

·        Future infrastructure needs are shown in the Infrastructure Delivery Plan available on the Council’s website.  As infrastructure needs to be provided in a co-ordinated manner with the Council’s partners, funds are not necessarily spent as they are collected but are saved towards larger projects, resulting, at times, in seemingly large amounts held by the Council.

·        Other S.106 monies are for specific purposes and may be unallocated currently.

·        The Planning Obligations Team would be introducing new spending and monitoring processes going forward and this needs to be developed with realistic timescales.

·        There is no time limit for CIL expenditure.

·        The best practice guidance for Town and Parish Councils would provide a simplified procedure which would better enable Towns and Parishes to engage with the system.  The new work plan included providing training for Town and Parish Councils on the new process.

·        The remaining vacant post in the Planning Obligations Team was currently filled by agency staff.  Recruitment of quality staff with the required specialist skills was difficult currently.  Advice from the HR Team had been to wait a few months before re-advertising the vacancy in order to reach a new target audience.  Succession planning included training junior officers to take on specialist posts going forward.

·        There is no legislation which would allow the Council to stop granting planning permission for those developers failing to fulfil planning obligations.  However, the Government is aware that some developers do not comply as required.  It is very difficult to pursue payment where a developer has gone into administration.


The Chair thanked the Assistant Director Planning Strategy and Development Management and his team for the report and update.  The Committee noted the progress that had been made on addressing the resourcing of CIL and S.106 work.  A further update report will be brought to the Committee in late summer 2024.


With regard to the S.106 and CIL Resources and Processes Task and Finish Forum (TaFF), it was agreed to request a scoping report to include a timescale and terms of reference.  This would be brought back to the next scheduled meeting of the Committee in June, unless officer resources and capacity allowed for an earlier date to be found in May.






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