Residents, groups and businesses are being asked to have their say on updated planning guidance setting out the expectation that developments should contribute to Richmond's infrastructure.

The existing supplementary planning document (SPD) was last updated in 2014, but has now been updated to reflect the policies in the Local Plan adopted in 2018.

Cllr Martin Elengorn, Chair of the Environment, Sustainability, Culture and Sport Committee, said: “We know that vital infrastructure is needed to support new homes and businesses – even before a shovel hits the ground.

“This infrastructure and funding is critical in ensuring that the site-specific impacts of new development are mitigated, and that we can deliver new homes, commercial development and community facilities across the borough to support our growing communities.

“This SPD outlines our approach.

"We want it to be simple, transparent and easy for developers to understand.

"I encourage residents across the borough to give us their view.”

Specifically, this SPD outlines the borough’s approach to Section 106 agreements.

This is the mechanism that makes a development proposal acceptable in planning terms and often involved developers making a financial contribution to neighbourhoods they are looking to build in.

The updated SPD also reflects national government changes to infrastructure funding regimes which give greater flexibility for the use of Section 106 alongside the existing Community Infrastructure Levy to fund infrastructure.

The SPD sets out the basis of the calculation for financial contributions and obligations to be sought from development for the provision of infrastructure necessary to support development.

This includes open space, community facilities including for sport and recreation, trees, biodiversity, education, health care, and transport requirements.

It includes details to support the implementation of employment policy requirements introduced in the Local Plan for large developments in relation to local employment agreements and affordable workspace - to ensure that employment and training/skills development opportunities are provided to local people, and that lower-cost workspace is available. The SPD also includes measures to be provided as part of developments that seek to address the challenges of climate change.

Once adopted the updated SPD will have statutory weight in the decision-making process and will be used in the determination of planning applications.

The deadline for feedback is January 27.

Visit the Planning Application section on Richmond's website for further information.