1.1. The New Forest District (outside the National Park) Local Plan 2016-2036 Part 1: Planning Strategy was formally adopted on 6 July 2020. It makes provision to deliver at least 10,420 dwellings between 2016 and 2036. The Council and developers have a responsibility, through the planning process, to manage the impact of this growth and ensure that any adverse impacts caused by development are mitigated and that the necessary infrastructure is provided. The Council expects new development to contribute appropriately to site-related and other infrastructure needs either through direct onsite provision or through financial contributions.
1.2. Policy IMPL1 of the adopted Local Plan 2016-2036 Part 1: Planning Strategy establishes that "all developments must provide, or contribute proportionately to the provision of, any on-site and off-site infrastructure, facilities, affordable housing, public open space and habitat mitigation measures that are necessary and reasonably required to support the development and mitigate its impacts to achieve a sustainable development." Some development sites have site-specific policies which will set out particular planning requirements associated with the development of that site.
1.3. Developer contributions seek to mitigate the impacts of a development scheme, address infrastructure needs, contribute towards placemaking, and meet Local Plan policy requirements. The main types of developer contributions include:
- Mitigation measures addressing impacts on nature conservation
- Requirements to achieve biodiversity net gain
- Affordable housing
- Education provision
- Transport infrastructure
- Public Open Space, including playing pitches
1.4. In appropriate circumstances and where there is evidence of a need arising from the development, additional contributions may be required for other infrastructure, for example, healthcare facilities.
1.5. The purpose of this note is to explain the relevant legislative and planning policy context within which contributions are sought and provide an overview of the main types of developer contributions listed above.
1.6. Applicants should use the adopted Local Plan, this Information Note, the Mitigation for Recreational Impacts SPD and any published guidance, including on nutrient neutrality, air quality and affordable housing, alongside an analysis of their proposed development in order to consider the impacts of the proposed scheme and any planning obligations likely to be required to mitigate the impacts of development.
1.7. The Council is committed to working co-operatively with applicants throughout the planning process, and strongly encourages applicants, agents and developers to seek formal pre-application advice prior to submitting a planning application. The pre-application process offers a valuable service for potential developers and helps identify particular issues at an early stage which will need addressing as part of a planning application. The pre-application stage also offers an opportunity to agree the infrastructure, CIL and planning obligations that may be required to enable development to proceed, and to commence work on any agreement required.
1.8. For major planning applications, the Council will offer the opportunity to enter into a Planning Performance Agreement at the pre-application stage to enable close working through the application stage and subsequently monitor on-site implementation.