A former commercial site with associated parking to rear proposed part-demolition, façade retention and replacement with residential-led mixed-use development (21 units). Reading LPA sought a contributionof 7 onsite affordable units.
The applicant approached S106 Management to provide full viability reporting and direct negotiations with the council’s inhouse consultants.
S106M’s viability appraisal demonstrated a significant deficit. The council challenged several assumptions, including the commercial value of the existing property and the proposed sales values of the new development, which were defended robustly. Negotiations ensued both on particular inputs to the viability appraisal, and on an outcome acceptable to the planning committee.
A creative and mutually agreeable compromise position was explored and agreed in order to facilitate a swift conclusion that respected all interests.
As a result the development was approved at committee. The originally sought 7 unit onsite provision was reduced to a £100,000 cash in lieu contribution, deferred to occupation of the 6th unit. A late review mechanism was agreed but on the basis of a fixed percentage over a threshold GDV, capped at a specific contribution less the original payment.
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