Unilateral Undertaking

A unilateral undertaking is a legal document that states: if you receive planning permission and decide to implement the development, you must make certain payments to us in the form of planning contributions.

View Developer Contributions

A unilateral undertaking can only be entered in to by the owner of the land that will be developed. If you don't own the land, you need to ask the owner to enter in to this.

All those with an interest in the land must be made a party.

In order to determine who owns or has an interest in the land, you can check with the Land Registry.

The government set out planning policies for England and how these are expected to be applied.

Government planning practice guidance

Applying for planning permission for less than 10 dwellings

If you are applying for planning permission for less than 10 dwellings, you should check the provision you must make for essential contributions towards community and sports facilities.

The council has decided to collect contributions for community and sport/recreation projects to mitigate the impact arising from small scale housing development. As these developments of less than 10 units are exempt from affordable housing contributions, a s.106 agreement will not be sought and instead, a unilateral undertaking will be required to facilitate payment in accordance with the schedule of payments derived from the adopted SPD and draft unilateral undertaking as set out below.

How we calculate the developer contribution required for community facilities

We apportion funds between the ward and city with:

  • 35% of contribution assigned to ‘borough-wide’ community facilities
  • 65% of contribution assigned to ‘catchment area’ community facilities

Number of bedrooms 

Total contribution 

Studios and 1 bedroom  


2 bedrooms 


3 bedrooms 


4 bedrooms 


5 bedrooms 


6 bedrooms 


The build cost of community facilities is reviewed every April to reflect changes in the capital costs of providing community buildings in line with the BCIS classification CI/SfB 532.

You can check our website at the time of submitting your application to ensure the figure you are using is up to date.

Sport and recreation

Developer contributions for provision of open space, sport and recreation facilities.

Refer to the SPD for further information

How we calculate the contribution due

No of bedrooms

Total contribution











Email s106enquiries@colchester.gov.uk if you require assistance or clarification.

You will not be required to make the payments due to the council until you commence development. The undertaking will be registered as a land charge so future purchasers of the property will be aware of it and their obligations under the agreement.

If your application is for 10 or more units or for a 1,000 sq m of commercial floor space or more, you should contact us for further advice.

Request undertaking and costs

You can submit the relevant Unilateral Undertaking Request Form with a signed Ordnance Survey Site Plan and Land Registry title (register and title plan).

Download a copy of the pro-forma Unilateral Undertaking

On receipt the council’s legal team will draft the Unilateral Undertaking. It will then be sent to you or your solicitor for signature.

The agreement must be signed

The agreement must be signed by all landowners and persons with a legal interest in the site, including any lender - if there is a mortgage on the site the agreement must be executed by the mortgage company.

Costs and fees

The applicant is to pay the council's legal fees, £500 in connection with Unilateral Undertaking.

There is a £807.20   monitoring fee payable on completion of the S.106 Agreement to enable us to effectively monitor for commencement of development, collection of the contribution and expenditure in accordance with the agreement.

Legal and Monitoring Fee Payment Form

The planning application cannot be determined until the Unilateral Undertaking has been completed. If this cannot be achieved within the 8 or 13 week life of the planning application, the application is likely to be refused.

If the planning application is refused after the agreement has been completed and the £400 monitoring has been paid, the monitoring fee will be held for six months or until the outcome of an appeal, at which time a refund may be requested.

Page last reviewed: 11 October 2023


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