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London council proposes affordable viability study as local condition

by on May 13, 2015

Greenwich Royal Borough Council has formally proposed a landmark new local planning authority policy that would mean any developer who doesn’t meet the council’s affordable housing target would have to provide a public viability study justifying its stance.

Currently the south-east London local planning authority expects developers to ensure 35 per cent of housing in new schemes is affordable.

The Royal Borough has just started consulting on a new list of locally established criteria for planning applications. This includes a requirement to provide a fully public viability study for residential developments with less than 35 per cent affordable homes. This will then be subject to full public consultation as part of the planning application.

Councillor Danny Thorpe, Greenwich cabinet member for regeneration and transport, said: “This is about transparency for local people. At the moment our hands are tied on affordable housing levels if the viability study shows a development won’t work financially with the levels of affordable housing we want.”

“This will now allow the whole process to be far more transparent – making the viability studies publicly available as part of the planning documents means the Royal Borough and residents alike can see precisely why a developer might claim they cannot meet our affordable housing targets.“

He added: “We believe we’re the first local authority in the country to be doing this – looking at policy which insists on these studies being in the public domain.”

 

View the Royal Borough of Greenwich press release

View further details of the consultation and have your say

Roger Milne

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