Croydon adopted their Local Plan in February 2018 to ‘enable increasing the supply of homes through sustainable growth (together with affordable homes)’.
Policy SP2.3, SP2.4 and SP2.5 of the Local Plan set out the expectations regarding affordable housing in the borough, this can be seen below:
As seen above, there are different requirements based on whether the development has the ability to provide on-site provisions.
On all developments of 10+ dwellings, up to 50% of the proposed units are wanted as affordable housing, with a minimum of 30% on site.
However, if 30% of the affordable dwellings cannot be provided on the development site, then there are two other options.
The first option would be to provide 15% of the units on-site as affordable if in the Croydon Opportunity Area or a District Centre and then have the other 15% of units on a donor site that already has been granted planning permission. The alternative option is to have 15% affordable dwellings on-site, and then have a late review mechanism carried out to determine if there is any further surplus for affordable housing.
The option of commuted sums in lieu of on-site affordable housing is highlighted in SP2.6, where it states that only in exceptional circumstances will this option be available for sites of 10+ dwellings.
However all of the above ambitions are caveated by viability. The concluding paragraph of SP2.5 is particularly detailed in this regard.
S106 Management have completed many viability challenges in Croydon. We advise that a site-specific viability assessment is completed on all developments of 10+ dwellings in Croydon.
Previous Work in Croydon
Proposed development = Demolish the existing dwellings and erect a 4 -storey residential block in its place; in total the development will provide 22 flats with a combined GIA of 1,569m2.
Policy implications/requirement = On developments of 10+ dwellings, 50% are wanted to be affordable; however, the minimum requirement is 30%.
Expectation on Affordable Housing = In this instance, 30% of the 22 flats are required as affordable housing, this equates to 6.6 units.
Result = The site was deemed unviable if it were to provide the targeted number of on-site units. A variety of minimal S106 contributions were agreed and planning was granted.