Someone drew my attention today to a recent appeal decision in which the Secretary of State found that a s. 106 planning obligation which secured a financial contribution to local health services did not satisfy the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations and therefore should be disregarded.
The appeal proposal was for a mixed use development including over 550 houses, a golf course and other development. The local NHS body had sought a contribution towards improving the local health centre in order to meet increased demand. The s 106 agreed between the appellant and the local planning authority allowed for this but the Inspector concluded; "I find the matters relating to a financial contribution to health services in the form of improvements to the Ingol Health Centre or other health purposes are outwith the Regulation and do not satisfy the tests in the Circular."
The Secretary of State accepted this advice. Now I do not know the ins and outs of the contribution but this strikes me as a finding which will be potentially worrying to many NHS bodies who may be used to recovering contributions in this way. It shows the importance of making clear how contributions meet the tests of the CIL Regulations - rather than simply relying on an agreement being reached with the developer.