Guidance

Publish your developer contributions data

When publishing your developer contributions data, follow this guidance on how to format, label and publish the data.

Publish your data

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) regulations and National Planning Policy Framework require all local planning authorities to publish their developer contributions data on a regular basis and in an agreed format.

Local planning authorities that have received developer contributions must publish, at least annually, an infrastructure funding statement summarising their developer contributions data. This guidance sets out the data format and approach that you should follow when publishing your data and infrastructure funding statements.

The data format and infrastructure funding statements will give policy makers better insights into how developer contributions are supporting new development and local infrastructure. We have designed the data format to cause as little disruption as possible to existing processes.

Please share your feedback on this guidance by filling out a feedback form or by emailing DigitalLand@communities.gov.uk

Make your data findable, useable and trustworthy

Developer contributions include section 106 planning obligations, CIL, section 278 agreements and any agreements that either secure funding towards new development, or provide infrastructure as part of any new development. The data on these has a wide range of current and potential uses, including:

  • planning land and housing development
  • creating new digital services
  • giving community members insight into local development and how they can influence it

But for data to be useful it must be easy to find, use, understand and trust. Local planning authorities should ensure that their developer contributions data is all of these by following this specification for how to format, label and publish it. The following guidance gives a high-level overview of the data format and the publication process.

Local authorities should continue to publish section 106 agreements on the planning register. Publishing your developer contributions data in this format will help you fill out your infrastructure funding statement, but does not replace that requirement.

The Digital Land team at the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government (MHCLG) are working to automate the process of producing an infrastructure funding statement, using the data published in accordance with this guidance. They will update the Digital Land website with progress on this.

The Digital Land team have also built a test version of a developer contributions dashboard. This is not a live service, but simply a prototype to explore ways the data could be used.

Publishing developer contributions: 3 steps

Planning authorities must publish their developer contributions data once a year but are encouraged to do so as frequently as they can so that datasets are up to date. (Those publishing with third-party software that can semi-automate the process might be able to publish in near real-time, while those publishing manually might choose to only publish quarterly.)

This guidance applies to the publication of developer contributions data going forward – you are not required to republish historical data so that it complies with this guidance.

Publishing is a 3 step process:

  1. Create 3 developer contribution CSV files to store the data
  2. Upload each of these files to your organisation’s website and give them a persistent URL, then clearly link to them from your developer contributions web page
  3. Submit the URLs you created in Step 2 to the national register of developer contributions

Step 1: Create your CSV files

To complete step 1 you must be able to create or amend CSV files, for example by using spreadsheet software.

If you are a planning authority using third-party software to manage your developer contributions, ask your vendor if the software can export the data to CSV files as defined in this guidance. Otherwise, use the following instructions.

Developer contributions data must be entered in 3 separate CSV files. A CSV file (or comma separated value file) is a universally recognised file format for storing tabular data in plain text. Storing the data in 3 separate files rather than 1 file reduces duplication and makes the data easier to use and maintain.

We’ve created a CSV template for each of the 3 files:

If it helps, you can use the above example files and enter your developer contributions data. You must follow the guidelines below, then ‘save as .csv file’. You can use software such as Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets or Apple Numbers, as long as they meet the requirements of this guidance.

Each of the CSV files must:

  • be named using the convention specified in each section below
  • contain certain column headers (written exactly as shown, in lowercase)
  • include 1 row of data for each agreement, contribution or transaction (as relevant)
  • only contain entries that conform to the constraints described below

Find out more about creating a CSV file.


Developer agreements

A developer agreement is any legal document that secures contributions from a development for infrastructure or affordable housing (including section 106 planning obligations and section 278 agreements), or any demand notice for CIL.

Developer agreements must be listed in a CSV file named exactly as follows, but with the actual date you created the file instead of YYYYMMDD:

developer-agreement_YYYYMMDD.csv

Do not delete or overwrite old or superseded agreements.

Column headers:

developer-agreement

Create a unique identifier for the agreement. By ‘unique’ this means it should not be used for anything else in your organisation. (You could, for example, use the relevant planning application number appended with a suffix such as ‘-da’.)

organisation

Find your organisation in this list (in most cases this will be a local planning authority). All text must be in lower case, with no spaces. Norfolk’s local planning authority, for example, would be:

local-authority:nfk

Read the MHCLG Digital Land team’s data principles for more information on dates.

entry-date

Enter the date that you record this data (for example today’s date), in the format YYYY-MM-DD. For 1 February 2019, for example, you should enter 2019-02-01.

start-date

For section 106 planning obligations, enter the date the agreement was ‘signed and sealed’. For CIL, enter the date the demand notice was issued.

If the original section 106 agreement or CIL demand notice is superseded by a new version (for example a deed of variation), enter the date on which the new version was agreed.

Enter the date in the same format as the entry-date column.

end-date

Leave this blank if this version of the section 106 agreement or CIL demand notice has not been superseded by a new one. If it has, enter the last day this version was in effect, in the same format as the entry-date column.

planning-application

Enter the unique reference number for the planning application as it appears on the Planning Portal.

document-url

Enter the web address that links directly to the actual agreement document or CIL demand notice. If your CIL demand notices are not published, leave this blank.

developer-agreement-type

This is either ‘CIL’ (Community Infrastructure Levy), ‘S106’ (section 106 planning obligations) or ‘S278’ (section 278 agreements). More developer agreement types will gradually be added to the developer-agreement-type.csv file, which MHCLG will maintain for your reference.


Developer agreement contributions

Developer agreement contributions are the individual obligations or sums within an agreement, assigned to particular purposes such as affordable housing.

For CIL, the total sum should be split into separate developer agreement contributions with the contribution-purpose as either CIL, CIL administration, Neighbourhood CIL or as Mayoral CIL. If the CIL is being paid by instalments, each instalment should be recorded separately.

Developer agreement contributions must be listed exactly as follows, but with the actual date you created the file instead of YYYYMMDD:

developer-agreement-contribution_YYYYMMDD.csv

Column headers:

developer-agreement-contribution

Create a unique identifier for the contribution.

developer-agreement

Enter the unique identifier you’ve created for the agreement.

contribution-purpose

Enter the ID for the intended purpose of the developer contribution. This is found in the first column of the developer-contribution-purpose.csv file (for example the ID for transport and travel is transport-and-travel). This file will be held by MHCLG for your reference.

amount

Enter the agreed, secured contribution amount, in pounds and pence but without a currency symbol or commas (for example 100000.00)

units

If the developer has agreed a non-financial contribution you should quantify that here (for example enter 100 if that many affordable housing units have been promised, or enter 2 for 2 public playgrounds).

Read the MHCLG Digital Land team’s data principles for more information on dates.

entry-date

Enter the date that you record this data (for example today’s date), in the format YYYY-MM-DD. For 1 February 2019, for example, you should enter 2019-02-01.

start-date

For section 106 planning obligations, enter the date the agreement was ‘signed and sealed’. For CIL, enter the date the demand notice was issued.

If the original section 106 agreement or CIL demand notice is superseded by a new version (for example a deed of variation), enter the date on which the new version was agreed.

Enter the date in the same format as the entry-date column.

end-date

Leave this blank if this version of the section 106 agreement or CIL demand notice has not been superseded by a new one. If it has, enter the last day this version was in effect, in the same format as the entry-date column.


Developer agreement transactions

Developer agreement transactions must be listed in a CSV file exactly as follows, but with the actual date you created the file instead of YYYYMMDD:

developer-agreement-transaction_YYYYMMDD.csv

Column headers:

developer-agreement-transaction

Create a unique identifier for the transaction.

developer-agreement-contribution

Enter the unique identifier you created for the contribution.

contribution-funding-status

Enter one of the following to indicate what stage the funding for the contribution is currently in:

  • ‘secured’: for section 106 and 278 agreements, the trigger clauses associated with the contribution have been met, meaning the developer is now required to pay all or part of the contribution. For CIL, the demand notice has been issued and the developer is now required to pay all or part of their CIL liability
  • ‘received’: the developer has paid all or part of the money due to the local planning authority
  • ‘allocated’: the received money has been allocated to a team within the local planning authority, who will spend the money
  • ‘transferred’: the received money has been transferred to an organisation outside the planning authority (for example another local authority or Transport for London), who will spend the money
  • ‘spent’: the received money has been spent on the purpose specified in the section 106 or 278 agreement
  • ‘returned’: the received money (or a portion of it) has been returned to the developer

If more than one status applies (for example if some money was spent and some returned), please create a separate row for each status. Fill in each row with all other fields.

amount

Enter the amount of money for each funding status.

Enter the amount as a numeric value for example £10,000 would be entered as 10000.00

units

If the developer has agreed a non-financial contribution you should quantify how much of that commitment has been met for this transaction if you can (for example enter 50 if 100 affordable housing units were committed and 50 have been delivered).

Read the MHCLG Digital Land team’s data principles for more information on dates.

entry-date

Enter the date that you record this data (for example today’s date), in the format YYYY-MM-DD. For 1 February 2019, for example, you should enter 2019-02-01.

start-date

Enter the date on which this contribution status came into effect (for example the date that money was transferred or allocated), in the same format as the entry-date column.

end-date

Leave this blank if this version of the section 106 agreement or CIL demand notice has not been superseded by a new one. If it has, enter the last day this version was in effect, in the same format as the entry-date column.


Step 2: Update your developer contributions web page

To complete step 2 you must be able to upload the files created in step 1 to your local planning authority’s website and edit (or create) your developer contributions web page. If you aren’t able or authorised to do this, speak to someone who is (this might be the person who updates your local planning authority’s brownfield site register or planning application web pages).

Upload each CSV file to your local planning authority’s website using a persistent URL (a web address that will not change over time). As an example, Norfolk’s local planning authority might use the following persistent addresses (note that these are examples, not live data):

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/developer-agreement/developer-agreement_20190101.csv

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/developer-agreement-contribution/developer-agreement-contribution_20190101.csv

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/developer-agreement-transaction/developer-agreement-transaction_20190101.csv

https://www.norfolk.gov.uk/developer-agreement-transaction/latest

When you upload the files you should:

  • keep your older files online – it’s important to retain a history of all developer contribution files
  • make a copy of the new files, rename the copies exactly the same except with ‘latest’ in place of the date, then upload both sets of files

You should then update your local planning authority’s developer contributions web page to make the CSV files publicly available. If your website does not have a page on developer contributions, you or someone in the web team will need to create one. We recommend publishing your developer contributions on the same web page as your authority’s infrastructure funding statement.

The page must list the persistent URLs as defined above. The URLs must be written out in full. (The URL should not change. However, if it ever does change, you must tell us.)


Step 3: Submit the URLs you created in Step 2 to the national register of developer contributions

MHCLG will maintain a national register of developer contributions.

The first time you create and publish your 3 CSV files you must tell us where these are published (the persistent URLs created in step 2). You must also tell us if these ever change.

Email the URLs you created in step 2 to DigitalLand@communities.gov.uk and we will add them to the national register.

You will soon be able to submit the URLs through an online tool the Digital Land team are developing. When this is ready, the team will make an announcement on their blog and this guidance will be updated.

If have any questions or feedback, please fill out this feedback form or email DigitalLand@communities.gov.uk

Published 1 September 2019