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Section 13 Agreements

Section 13 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1999 allows DEFA to enter into legal agreements in relation to planning matters. Such agreements are not the same as a condition attached to a planning approval and can relate to other matters, for example commuted sums to enable the provision/maintenance of open space, affordable housing or ecological mitigation/compensation measures. The Department has adopted Operational Policy to provide clarification on how planning applications will be processed where agreements may be required. It is published in light of the commitment in the Isle of Man Strategic Plan to produce Supplementary Guidance in relation to agreements (see paragraph 6.4.2). It is noted that a number of changes to legislation, policy and process will result from the implementation of the Reform of the Planning System. This Operational Policy will therefore be kept under review, in light of any updating of the Island Development Plan and/or the introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy.

It is likely that any application which requires an agreement will be determined by the Planning Committee, who are not able to approve such an application without sufficient detail as to the proposed content of the agreement. Applicants should therefore ensure that their applications contain the proposed Heads of Terms and discuss/agree any alteration/addition to this scope with the Case Officer as soon as possible (as well as any relevant consultees, such as the Department of Infrastructure in relation to Affordable Housing or the relevant Local Authority in relation to Public Open Space). Should the Committee decide to approve an application subject to an agreement, the decision notice will not be issued until the agreement is produced and signed. Normally, the Case Officer will issue instructions to the Attorney General's Chamber after the application has been considered by the Committee, using the Instructions Form (see downloadable documents). Applicants should therefore ensure that they have provided the Case Officer with the relevant information to be able to complete this form.

Please be aware that legal charges incurred by the Department will be charged to the applicant (charge excluding VAT of £500, with an extra £75 per hour in respect of any work in excess of four billable hours) and must be paid prior to the signing of the agreement. Once any legal agreement has been concluded, the applicant will be responsible for the recordal fees for the registration of the agreement at the Deeds Registry.

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