Developer Obligations

Developer Obligations cover both developer contributions and affordable housing.

When a development takes place there is a need for infrastructure and services to accompany it. This can include roads, schools or a wide range of facilities depending on the scale and location of development.

Developer contributions are intended to make sure that developers address any impact on infrastructure created by the development but cannot resolve existing deficiencies.

Scottish Government Planning Circular 3/2012: Planning Obligations and Good Neighbour Agreements sets out a series of 5 policy tests all of which are applied when undertaking an assessment of whether an obligation is required:

  • Necessary to make the proposed development acceptable in planning terms;
  • Serve a planning purpose and where it is possible to identify infrastructure provision requirements in advance, should relate to development plans;
  • Relate to the proposed development either as a direct consequence of the development or arising from the cumulative impact of development in the area;
  • Fairly and reasonable relate in scale and kind to the proposed development; and
  • Be reasonable in all other respects.

Planning policy on both affordable housing and developer contributions is set out in the Aberdeenshire Local Development Plan. Supplementary guidance on developer obligations and affordable housing (PDF 569KB) has been prepared which forms part of the Local Development Plan 2023

Obligations can be made either as an ‘in kind’ or financial contribution. These are secured by planning condition or most commonly via an upfront payment or Section 75 legal agreement.

View reports representative of developer obligation funds for various areas.

Frequently asked questions on developer obligations

The Developer Obligations Team have prepared an advice sheet which provides further detail on developer obligations (including common obligations in Aberdeenshire and the legal background):

The Developer Obligations team

Any requirement for Developer Obligations is assessed by the Developer Obligations team. 

Applicants are encouraged to contact the Developer Obligations Team as early as possible in the planning process for an indication of the level of obligations. Please contact us on 01467 536928 or email us at

Aberdeenshire Council also provide a Developer Obligations Service to Aberdeen City Council through a Service Level Agreement. They also prepared the Supplementary Guidance for Angus Council.

View our Customer Charter (PDF 275KB)

Information bulletins 

Information bulletins are produced by the team to provide updates on procedural aspects of Developer Obligations. 

Apply for developer obligations funding

If you wish to apply for developer obligations funding please complete our online form.

Use of Developer Contributions

The use of funds received from developer contributions must be in line with the original agreement under which they were secured. It is therefore important that the relevant council services and community groups review the scale of development identified in the Local Development Plan and the impact this may have on infrastructure.

Within Aberdeenshire many community halls are managed by third party groups. Where works are being undertaken to increase capacity of these facilities then contributions may potentially be able to be directed towards these works. In the first instance we would request that community groups review the frequently asked questions information sheet accessible on this webpage to see whether their project may be a suitable fit. Contact should then be made with the relevant Area Managers Office.