Currently, Section 75 agreements can only be amended in accordance with the planning authority. With regard to discharge, since there is no formal procedure for the discharge of an agreement pursuant to Section 75, nor a formal discharge document, the only basis on which an agreement can currently be unloaded under Section 75 is the conclusion of another agreement, in accordance with Section 75. On a practical level, this means that property names can become very cumbersome, as it is not possible to simply “ignore” a lean section 75 agreement. It can only fully reproduce the terms of the original section 75, along with the complementary “unloading agreement” of Section 75, leaving it to the title reader to determine whether all obligations under the Section 75 agreement have been met. The new provisions will therefore be useful insofar as the discharge is in the process of officially restarting, but more importantly, the new provisions provide a mechanism for a party concerned – that is, a party against which a provision of section 75 of the agreement is enforceable – to formally request an amendment or compliance with planning obligations. There are also appeal procedures against an authority`s decision on such an application. The appeal is to Scottish ministers. According to the circular, the requirement of the planning contract should be so directly related to the regulation of the proposed construction that it should not be allowed without it. Agreements should not be implemented when the relationship between development and contribution is too far away.
It will be possible for developers to sign an agreement under Section 75 before owning the land. This will allow developers who have made a decision error or a planning-dependent land acquisition option to negotiate the terms of a Section 75 agreement with the planning authority, without reference to the landowner, and effectively enter into the Section 75 contract prior to the acquisition of the land. This provision is probably seen as support for real estate development, but it is difficult to say that it makes a significant difference in practice. The current practice, of course, is to impose an obligation on the existing owner with respect to the agreements negotiated by the developer under Section 75, which allows the contractor to clean up the suspensive state of the missive planning and acquire the land.