Written statement: Support for small scale developers, custom and self-builders

The Minister of State for Housing and Planning (Brandon Lewis) has issued a ministerial statement on the action that the Coalition Government has taken to "free up" the planning system and the further new measures they are now implementing to support small scale developers, in particular changes relating to Section 106 obligations imposed on small scale developers, custom and self-builders.

Section 106 obligations imposed on small scale developers, custom and self-builders

The Government consulted in March on a series of measures intended to tackle the disproportionate burden of developer contributions on small scale developers, custom and self-builders. These included introducing into national policy a threshold beneath which affordable housing contributions should not be sought. The suggested threshold was for developments of ten-units or less (and which have a maximum combined gross floor space of no more than 1,000 square metres).The Government received over 300 consultation responses many of which contained detailed submissions and local data.

After careful consideration of these responses, the Government is making the following changes to national policy with regard to Section 106 planning obligations:

  • Due to the disproportionate burden of developer contributions on small scale developers, for sites of 10-units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floor space of 1,000 square metres, affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought. This will also apply to all residential annexes and extensions.
  • For designated rural areas under Section 157 of the Housing Act 1985, which includes National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty, authorities may choose to implement a lower threshold of 5-units or less, beneath which affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought. This will also apply to all residential annexes and extensions. Within these designated areas, if the 5-unit threshold is implemented then payment of affordable housing and tariff style contributions on developments of between 6 to 10 units should also be sought as a cash payment only and be commuted until after completion of units within the development.
  • These changes in national planning policy will not apply to Rural Exception Sites which, subject to the local area demonstrating sufficient need, remain available to support the delivery of affordable homes for local people. However, affordable housing and tariff style contributions should not be sought in relation to residential annexes and extensions.
  • A financial credit, equivalent to the existing gross floorspace of any vacant buildings brought back into any lawful use or demolished for re-development, should be deducted from the calculation of any affordable housing contributions sought from relevant development schemes. This will not however apply to vacant buildings which have been abandoned.

The Government will publish revised planning guidance to assist authorities in implementing these changes shortly.

Date: 28/11/2014 Date of publication

Author: DCLG

DCP link: This item updates DCP section 4.6115


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Join the conversation with PlanningResource on social media

Follow Us:
Planning Jobs