A developer in Surrey has recently been reminded of the importance of making sure that the planning authority has counted their s.106 contributions.  

The Planning Inspectorate refused the Written Reps Appeal for a single dwelling in Surrey, on the basis that the Council had received more than five contributions towards its proposed ecological mitigation project.

As a result, the Inspector had to disregard the contribution. Unfortunately, the contribution was necessary to make the development acceptable in planning terms and without it permission for the scheme could not be granted.

Not all Councils have complete records of the number of s.106 contributions they have received; or what they have been used for. Due diligence on this point is crucial, if you are to avoid being in the same position as the poor applicant in this case.

If in doubt, it is worth considering identifying a wholly new project for your contributions, so as to be sure you are the first payment into the pool!