As planning applications are processed there are mechanisms to ensure that they meet with the policies of the local authority and do not cause harm to the natural environment. In an ideal world developments would enhance biodiversity.
There are now two mechanisms that local authorities can use:
S106 has been around for decades but CIL is quite new. These two mechanisms are used for different things and how they work together is quite tricky with guidance still changing.
The Planning Advisory Service has some useful information, including:
S106 agreements have often been long in agreement and difficult to deliver in practice. This may be why there have been calls for a change in the system and why the National Planning Policy Framework took a new approach of biodiversity offsetting. It is unclear at the moment however whether biodiversity offsetting would be ensured through either of these mechanisms.
For local residents the CIL 123 list may be of interest. This list details everything that CIL can be spent on – if it is not on the list CIL cannot be spent on it. This list will be included as part of the Local Plan and should be consulted on.