West Norfolk Council officers given more time to complete planning contracts

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Council officers have been given more time to complete legal agreements on planning applications in West Norfolk.

Officials say the move, which was agreed at today’s borough council planning committee meeting is needed to help deal with near record levels of applications.

Under the new arrangements, developers and officers will have four months to complete contracts, commonly known as section 106 agreements, after an application is approved, instead of the previous three.

The agreements are commonly used to secure contributions towards affordable housing provision, education and library services or facilities such as playing fields.

Principal planner Stuart Ashworth told the meeting: “We’ve got one of the highest levels of section 106s we have ever had.”

The move comes after figures published last month showed a 14 per cent rise in the number of applications submitted to the council in 2015, compared to the previous year.