Bermondsey Spa

Blithehale Health Centre, Bethnal Green

S106 Planning Contributions for Health

Developers applying for planning permission can be asked to contribute financially and in other ways to the infrastructure needed to support the new development, including health infrastructure, and to mitigate any impacts arising from the development.

Whilst the cumulative impacts of development in London are now mostly addressed through the use of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) system, s106 planning contributions still remain relevant in a number of circumstances – including the fact that many developments with related s106 agreements were approved prior to CIL coming into force. (Section 106 of The Town and Country Planning Act 1990 allows local authorities, subject to satisfying certain tests, to enter into a legal agreement with a developer to ensure that appropriate infrastructure and/or a financial contribution is provided.)

HUDU has developed and maintains a model to calculate indicative health contributions arising from development proposals which is in widespread use across London (and by some NHS organisations outside London).The model can be used to assess both site specific impacts and the impacts of cumulative growth over time.

Contributions in kind
Financial contributions are not the only way in which health benefits can be delivered. Sometimes it is more appropriate for a developer to provide floor space or a facility within a development; and there may be other aspects of the development which have a tangible health benefit such as the provision of play space or facilities that encourage active lifestyles.

The need to be clear about the impacts and opportunities that larger scale development creates (whether individual larger schemes, or the cumulative impact of development over time within an area) remain under CIL. It is therefore still important under the CIL system to assess the particular relationship between new development and health infrastructure impacts and needs (including any site specific requirements or opportunities) and to ensure appropriate account is taken of health needs as site proposals and planning applications come forward.

For more information on the different ways the planning system can contribute to securing new healthcare infrastructure and improved healthcare services, please see HUDU’s Planning Contributions for Health – Case Study Examples guide.