Although Planning Conditions are typically used in preference to planning obligations, for larger Mineral and Waste Developments or where the development involves several discrete areas of land (i.e. the quarry is in one location with its own boundary, and the processing plant is another location). Section 106 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 sets out what may be secured as ‘planning obligations’, but in broad terms they function in the same way as the imposition of Planning Conditions.
From an ecological perspective, the quarry developer enters into a legal agreement with the Mineral/Waste Planning Authority that obligates them to undertake certain actions that will compensate for losses of habitat etc., and without which planning permission could not be granted. A key difference between Planning Conditions and obligations under a s106 Agreement is that the Authority may enforce the s106 by entering the quarry to carry out the operations themselves, and charge the cost back to the quarry operator against whom the s106 Agreement is enforceable. Nevertheless, s106 are not absolutely fixed and, following the collection of data, it can be demonstrated that some or all of the action is unnecessary a modification may be sought.
AEcol have a long history of working with quarry operators to satisfy obligations in respect of ecology under s106 Agreements. However, we have an equally long history of testing the necessity of obligations for which we suspect there is little or no merit, and seeking modifications in respect of reductions in the scope of work where our suspicions are proven justified.