Help for housebuilders snared in Section 106 agreements
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by Gill Montia
The Government is spearheading a drive to get stalled housing developments up and running and builders back on moth-balled sites.
Communities Secretary, Eric Pickles, is concerned that too much development is being delayed because of “economically unrealistic” deals negotiated between councils and developers at the height of the housing boom.
The deals, known as Section 106 agreements, require house builders to make a financial contribution to the community or provide housing, amenities or infrastructure as part of their planning permission.
Under a new initiative, teams of intermediaries will offer free-of-charge advice and support to councils and developers to help kick-start renegotiations and get building underway.
Work will begin immediately and brokers will:
1. Provide technical expertise to unlock negotiations.
2. Act as go-betweens in disputes.
3. Offer access to a range of support services.
The Government is also launching a consultation that proposes giving developers the option to ask councils to renegotiate Section 106 obligations if they were agreed prior to April 2010.
Currently these obligations cannot be renegotiated for five years once a council refuses a request for voluntary renegotiation by a developer.
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