The case affected a 2.3 hectare site on the edge of a settlement granted permission for 70 dwellings including 30 per cent bungalows for the over 55s. The affordable housing element comprised nine on-site affordable rented units and a payment for off-site provision or improvement to the value of 12 further units. The appellants maintained the scheme was now unviable, but the council's assessor disagreed. Agreement regarding land costs, sales values and certain other costs and fees was in place, but developers' profits and construction costs were still contended. In looking at the case the inspector gave great weight to the fact that the scheme was providing a number of bungalows for older persons and this meant that the scheme was different from other comparable schemes in terms of costs. Following a review of the viability evidence, the inspector fell on the side of the appellant regarding developer's profits of 20 per cent rather than 17.5 per cent and higher construction costs overall than those suggested by the council. The inspector concluded that the full removal of the affordable housing requirement was necessary to render the scheme viable.
Inspector: Brendan Lyons; Hearing