Viability assessments, like statistics, can be used to prove just about anything. Interesting that the Joseph Rowntree Foundation have found that recent changes to the planning system have made it even more difficult to secure social housing from private development. Reported in Inside Housing.
“Viability assessment guidelines should be introduced to make it more difficult for developers to reduce affordable housing in planning agreements, a research charity has said.
“The Joseph Rowntree Foundation has today published a report, which finds that changes to the planning system have made it more difficult for planning agreements to ensure homes are built for those on the lowest incomes.
“The charity argues that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced by the coalition government, has led to negative impacts, including a greater emphasis on viability assessments, giving developers more ability to renegotiate agreements if they can show they make the scheme unworkable.
“JRF is calling for the introduction of viability assessment guidelines, which would set parameters for building costs and land values and allow councils to extract an amount from the rise in land value resulting from the granting of planning permission.
“It is also calling for the NPPF definition of affordability to be changed so it is aligned with households’ ability to pay.”