Section 106 Funding for open Space, Sport and Recreation Projects
What is a s106 agreement?
Section 106 (s106) agreements are legal agreements between Local Authorities and developers; they are linked to planning permissions and can also be known as planning obligations.
S106 Agreements are drafted when it is considered that a development will have significant impacts on the local area that cannot be mitigated on site. They may also be used where it is appropriate to seek financial contributions for offsite projects. This might be either for new facilities or the improvement of existing facilities to meet the needs of and mitigate pressure from new residents.
The current mechanism for this is through agreements signed under Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act.
For Open Space, Sport & Recreation (OSSR), financial contributions are sought in accordance with the Plymouth and South West Devon Joint Local Plan (JLP) policies DEV4 and DEV27 and the JLP Developer Contributions Evidence Base document.
What does the council do with the OSSR s106 funds?
The funds, once received, are held in ring fenced accounts by WDBC and projects are then developed by the Place Making Team to deliver the required outcomes. At this stage there are opportunities to maximise benefits for existing communities and to lever in additional funding.
Most projects take place on third party land and, where this is the case, the funds are offered by way of a conditional grant which secures the Council's interests and the requirements of the s.106 agreement.
What OSSR s106 funds are available?
The table on the right (s106 OSSR contributions by Parish) contains the current OSSR s106 contributions within West Devon listed by Parish and Town.
The table includes s106 agreements which are signed, including those where funds are pending receipt once triggers are reached, or where funds have been received by WDBC and are available for spend.
The table indicates the amount of funding available, the date by which the funds must be spent (where funds have been received), and indicates the projects on which funds may or must be spent.
Most of the s106 agreements define specific projects and effectively the funds are already committed. Where s106 agreements include generic references to improving OSSR facilities in the Parish/Town, the table indicates what consideration has been given to assigning projects to these generic OSSR contributions. These may either be projects pencilled in by officers, or deferred to a local OSSR Plan/local consultation.
It is hoped that the table will provide clarity with respect to funds that are available to Parish/Towns, and will assist with understanding where there is flexibility over eligible projects, and where proposals may be received from groups within local communities.
This table will be updated periodically, however if you think the situation may have changed in your Parish/Town (e.g. new s106s may have been signed, or parts of contributions spent), please feel free to request an update from the council.
Town/Parish OSSR Plans
Town/Parish OSSR Plans are a useful tool (either as part of a Neighbourhood Plan or stand-alone) to guide spend of existing OSSR s106 contributions where not committed to a named project. They are also useful to assist WDBC officers in negotiating future OSSR s106 contributions when dealing with new planning applications. Such Plans can identify and prioritise local aspirations and projects, and contribute to an evidence base from which named projects can be referenced and included within s106 agreements.
A template that could be used for a Parish/Town OSSR Plan is available on this webpage.
How can I apply for OSSR s106 funds for my project?
If you have an OSSR project, and there are uncommitted funds available in your Parish/Town, in the first instance you are advised to get in touch with the Community team (email@example.com) with outline details of the project (facility, costs, beneficiaries, evidence of need). An officer from the team will get in touch to discuss the project.