S106M acted for the applicant in this case providing detailed viability reporting, negotiation with the council’s viability department, and negotiation and drafting of the terms of the S106 agreement.
Hackney recently adopted an affordable housing policy seeking cash contributions from sites delivered less than 10 residential units. Although at odds with NPPF paragraph 64 which states affordable housing should not be sought from non-major developments (under 10 units), this approach has been agreed in instances of high need, in line with the West Berkshire case.
The proposed development comprised a conversion of a large E class high street building into 7 residential units.
Due primarily to a high benchmark land value and considerable costs of excavating the basement and a high quality design in line with national policy ambitions, the proposed cash contribution was not viable.
We held extensive discussions with the local authority, providing RICS Red Book valuation and QS detailed cost plans to fully evidence the site’s value and scheme’s costs.
During negotiations we agreed a compromise contribution of £50,000 based on the strength of the viability evidence. This was agreed on the basis of no review mechanism (late or early) being included within the S106 agreement, and with payment of the contribution on occupation of several units.
This case demonstrates the importance of a rational, objectively evidenced case. It also illustrates that there are other factors to consider in addition to the quantity of affordable housing or cash contribution in lieu to consider – such as late review mechanisms, s106 payment timing, and other terms.
Please call us today to discuss your viability and S106 agreement requirements.
Contact us today to discuss your s106 affordable housing viability needs.