Preston adopted their Local Plan in July 2015. However, their Affordable Housing Policy is drawn from the Central Lancashire Core Strategy, produced jointly by Preston City Council, Chorley Council and South Ribble Council in July 2015.
The Central Lancashire Core Strategy sets out to ‘help co-ordinate development in the area and contribute to boosting investment and employment’.
Policy 7 identifies the requirements for Affordable Housing in the area, this can be seen below:
As seen above, there are different requirements based on the location of the development, as well as the number of dwellings proposed.
For developments within urban parts of Preston, South Ribble and Chorley, 30% of the proposed number of units are to be affordable; whereas, in rural areas on site in or adjoining villages which have or will have a suitable range of services, 35% of the gross number of dwellings are required as affordable.
On rural exception sites, 100% of the proposed units are expected to be AH. This is set against many Rural Exception policies which allow an element of market housing onsite to subsidise the affordable housing delivery.
There are also different thresholds at which a certain gross number of dwellings will trigger an affordable housing contribution. In rural areas, 5+ units will require an on-site provision, and everywhere else will be expected to provide on-site AH units on 15 dwellings or more (except rural exception sites).
Off-site provisions or financial contributions will be considered by the LPA if it has been robustly justified that the location of the site is unsustainable for affordable housing.
S106 Management have completed many viability challenges within Preston and recommend a site-specific viability assessment given the policy is now over a decade out of date.
Previous Work in Preston
Proposed development = Redevelop the existing site to provide 39 dwellings.
Policy implications/requirements = Policy 7 of the Central Lancashire Core Strategy seeks 30% of the proposed units to be affordable.
Expectation on Affordable Housing = The development sought 12 affordable units, £1million in Community Infrastructure Levy and £500,000 in various S106 contributions.
Result = After robust negotiations, this residential scheme was deemed unviable if it were to provide the 12 on-site affordable units along with the various S106 contributions. Eventually, the affordable housing expectation and S106 contributions were removed, leaving jus the £1million CIL payment to be made.
This article discusses the scheme further.