Affordable homes reduction allowed in modification to planning obligation

The reduction of affordable dwellings from 28 to 6 was allowed in a modification to a S106 planning obligation in Devon mainly on the grounds that the local plan target had been reduced, whilst an overage clause in the same agreement was refused on the grounds that it would be contrary to national aims to boost the supply of housing.

The inspector stated the main issues to be whether the variation in the number of affordable houses was necessary to make the development viable and whether the reduction below local plan targets for affordable housing meant an overage clause to recover lost profit to the council for spending on off-site provision was justified and likely to be effective. The inspector found that the reduction in numbers was acceptable given the site was already under construction, the target for affordable housing in the area had been reduced in the latest version of the local plan which had already been examined and a statement of common ground on the overall number of affordable dwellings to be provided between the parties had aready been agreed. However, in considering the evidence and the likelihood that the scheme was to be built out in 3 years he felt that whilst an overage clause in the agreement may well be justified, it could delay the build out of affordable homes contrary to governement guidance to boost the supply of homes and was therefore not effective.

Inspector: R Mellor; Hearing


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