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Hertfordshire County Council

As part of the planning process, we may seek planning obligations to help manage the impacts of development.

Planning obligations (also known as Section 106 Agreements or ‘planning gain’) are obligations attached to the land that is the subject of a planning permission. 

Our Guide to Developer Infrastructure Contributions was approved for usage in July 2021. It outlines the obligations we may seek, and our approach to negotiation, preparation, and completion of planning obligation agreements.

Guide to developer infrastructure contributionsServices we seek planning obligations forHertfordshire demographic modelPlanning performance agreementsLocal and strategic plan engagementSection 106 GuidanceContact us


Guide to developer infrastructure contributions

Our Guide to Developer Infrastructure Contributions provides developers with an overview of planning obligations we may seek as part of the planning process. It was approved for usage in July 2021 and replaces our previous ‘Planning Obligations Guidance – Toolkit for Hertfordshire’ (2008).

To help facilitate the legal process associated with planning obligation requests, we have created the Guide to Developer Infrastructure Contributions: Legal Pack.

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Services we seek planning obligations for

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We are responsible for ensuring the provision of a range of different council services and may seek a combination of financial contributions, land reservation or facilities from a proposed development. This is to help meet the demand new developments place on service provision.

Our Technical Appendices support our Guide to Developer Infrastructure Contributions by outlining how contributions may be sought from new development on a service-by-service basis.

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Information on our income and expenditure relating to planning obligations is available in our Infrastructure Funding Statement. This document also outlines planned future expenditure priorities.

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Hertfordshire demographic model

We use our Hertfordshire Demographic Model to provide the baseline evidence required to support a request for planning obligations. Our model ensures we can meet the three tests necessary in respect of planning obligations.

The Model projects the number of people likely to be resident within a given development based on a range of demographic and development-specific data available to the county council. We also calibrate our model against observed demographic trends studied in our Pupil Yield Survey.

Our method notes explain how we do this:

Outputs from our Hertfordshire Demographic Model can be provided to applicants on request.

Planning performance agreements

Planning performance agreements are voluntary agreements between an applicant and the county council. They can help to address the impact of new development proposals before a developer submits a planning application. They also help agree to timescales, actions and the resources needed to support the development of a planning application.

More about planning performance agreements and how to apply

Certain development sites, given their size, location and/or complexity of issues, can be best dealt with through a planning erformance agreement (PPA). PPAs set out a framework for the consideration of a site in our capacity as a key consultee on planning applications and local plans and a provider of key services to new developments.

Generally, PPAs should be a tripartite agreement between HCC, the LPA, and the developer or promoter. They should identify the objectives and rules of engagement that all the parties understand and issues that need to be resolved through the PPA engagement.

PPAs do not guarantee a developer or promoter to a particular outcome or resolution, but they do give a guaranteed resource, process, timetable, and standards for the consideration of the development site and can form part of our response to the Local Planning Authority in relation to the site. A project team will be available to assist the promoter or developer through the process. This in turn gives an early opportunity to ensure common ground on allocations or applications that could potentially impact county council services and our statutory responsibilities.

County council teams that might contribute to a PPA process include:

  • education
  • early years support
  • youth services
  • libraries
  • waste disposal
  • fire and rescue
  • transport, including highways, public transport, active transport, and rights of way
  • ecology
  • archaeology
  • SuDS and Property services.

Matters likely to be discussed within the PPA process include the need for and extent of on-site and off-site facilities and infrastructure to support county council services, the assessment of highways and sustainable transport matters, masterplanning infrastructure effectively into the development, and appropriate planning obligations and heads of terms.

PPAs are usually agreed for a six-month period and there is a charge attached to this service. HCC charges £100 per hour, plus VAT. Fees are expected to be paid prior to commencement of the PPA.

HCC has a sample template PPA that outlines HCC’s preferred terms and conditions. We encourage early engagement with HCC and the LPA to ensure that terms are agreeable to all parties.

For further enquiries please contact the county council via

Local and strategic plan engagement

Opening in a new windowTo help manage the impacts of growth planned in Hertfordshire, we must continue to work collaboratively with our district and borough partners.

To achieve this, our Growth and Infrastructure Unit was established in 2018 to represent the county council as a service provider. Our Local and Joint Strategic Plans Engagement document outlines the formal role of our Growth and Infrastructure Unit alongside how they can assist throughout the Local Plan, Joint Strategic Plan and Neighbourhood Plan review process.

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To contact the Growth and Infrastructure Unit for all local or strategic planning enquiries and non-highways related planning, please email

Section 106 Guidance

Developer contributions are monies secured through S106 legal agreements to mitigate the impact of new developments.

The guidance sets out the Protocol and procedures for Highways and Transport Section 106.

Contact us

For all local plan enquiries and non-highway related planning, please email:


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