Viability updates required to ensure affordability

It is appropriate to assess delivery of affordable housing on each phase of an 1,100-dwelling brownfield development in a North Yorkshire town in order to ensure that it is viable, the secretary of state has ruled.

A section 106 agreement stipulated three key phase types for viability reassessment. In the first phase, should the residual land value prove to exceed the benchmark land value, the proportion of affordable housing would be capped at 35 per cent, with any surplus value taken forward into the next stage. For this intemediate stage, a similar process would be undertaken to reflect the intention that 20 per cent of the units across the whole site would be affordable.

The secretary of state placed weight on the prospect that the scheme will deliver affordable housing from the outset and is likely to make policy-compliant 20 per cent affordable provision across the site once all phases are complete. He attached substantial weight to the benefits of reusing a brownfield site in a highly accessible location where transport measures would reduce car reliance. Educational and sports facilities would support social integration of the proposed and existing communities, he found.

Inspector: Zoe Hill; Inquiry

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