News of the potential demise of both Section 106 planning obligations and the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) will come as a surprise to many. While the ‘planning for the future’ white paper proposed the abolition of Section 106, it did highlight potentially retaining and extending CIL.

It is not clear from the response whether non-financial planning obligations secured by Section 106, such as those associated with affordable housing delivery, will be unaffected by the reforms.

Whilst there can be delays in securing planning obligations using Section 106 agreements, the existing system allows for flexibility and certainty of delivery. It is fair to say that few will miss CIL, where the regulations governing the process were sometimes difficult to work with. Certainty over the delivery of infrastructure the levy was intended to fund was also opaque at best.

What comes forward to replace the current system must enable swift decision making that offers both flexibility and certainty if it is to succeed.