Charity calls for s106 changes to ensure more affordable homes

This charity clearly has its heart in the right place as they say, but they haven’t listened to this government’s rhetoric on the subject of housing, either pre or post the May elections.
Successive ministers have re-profiled the term affordable, as referred in the planning guidance to mean something very different from what the previous labour government meant.
When Labour were in power and decided to ‘streamline’ the planning system, by introducing the onerous and impossible to achive LDF process, as its replacement for Local Plans, it was clear what affordable meant in planning terms.
Affordable housing was for rent and either became part of the local councils housing stock, or was managed by an RSL, otherwise known as a housing association. Such housing could also be provided on rural exception sites, that would otherwise not be permitted for development.
The coalition and now majority Conservative government, quickly redefind the affordable, as houses that those in fulltime employment, could aspire to own. Combine this with the recent changes to Right to Buy and dabbling with rents and even a blind man would be hard pressed not see this all as a state sponsored anti-social housing campaign.
Of course, the paranoid side of my character, could also see this as a campaign on behalf of all those developers that have the ear of Conservative ministers and have been whining about their paltry profit margins since the banking crash.

Planning Portal Blog

Viability assessment guidelines should be introduced to make it more difficult for developers to reduce affordable housing in planning agreements, top research charity the Joseph Rowntree Foundation (JRF) has proposed.

It has published a report on planning obligations (s106 agreements) which concluded that recent changes to the planning system have made it more difficult for planning agreements to ensure homes are built for those on the lowest incomes.

The charity argued that the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), introduced by the coalition government, has led to negative impacts, including a greater emphasis on viability assessments, giving developers more ability to renegotiate agreements if they can show they make the scheme unworkable.

JRF has made the case for the introduction of viability assessment guidelines, which would set parameters for building costs and land values and allow councils to extract an amount from the rise in land value resulting from the granting of planning permission. The charity stressed this…

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