DC Casebook: Housing: New build - Interim affordable home policy overruled

In allowing an appeal for four homes at a site in Suffolk, an inspector has placed little weight on an interim local plan policy requiring affordable housing provision.

The interim policy, adopted in 2004, stipulated that the council would seek to ensure that 30 per cent of homes in schemes of three or more dwellings are affordable. This was intended to supersede an adopted local plan policy from 1996, which stated that affordable housing need not be provided on sites with fewer than 15 dwellings.

The inspector noted that the interim policy, while adopted for development control purposes, had not been subject to consultation and was not part of the statutory development plan. National advice in PPS3 advises that councils may require affordable housing on sites of fewer than 15 units where this is justified and viable, he noted.

However, the council did not dispute that the price paid by the appellants would make the development unviable if affordable homes had to be included. The inspector acknowledged that purchasers should be aware of the obligations that might be imposed on any permission. However, he decided that the appellants were entitled to base their assessment on the adopted local plan policy.

DCS Number 100-058-214

Inspector Richard High; Written representations.

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