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Section 106 failing to deliver, says new think tank research

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A new report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation - one of the UK's most influential think tanks - has attacked the use of Section 106, saying it has failed to deliver.

The report's authors say the legal clause has made no impact on the shortage of affordable homes and social housing, especially in the South East, where it has been used most widely. They also conclude that most developers avoid paying for most of the social housing on their schemes by applying for government Social Housing Grants.

One of the authors, Professor Christine Whitehead, said planners were largely disappointed with Section 106. 'The main result of these agreements has been to alter the geography of new social housing rather than the number of affordable homes being built, ' she said. The use of Section 106 has achieved only 30 per cent more affordable homes than would have been built without it, she said.

However, Whitehead added that the scheme is not all doom and gloom. 'These agreements have enabled affordable homes to be located on brownfield land and other high-cost land where they would not otherwise have been located.'

A spokesman for the Greater London Authority said the perceived failure of Section 106 would not dissuade them from a commitment to the clause in the London Plan.

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