Richmond’s local plan was adopted in July 2018, it states that it “sets out the policies and guidance for the development of the Borough”.
Policy LP 36 of the Local Plan sets out the affordable housing expectations, this can be seen below:
As seen above, there are different requirements dependant on the number of units proposed.
For developments of 10+ dwellings, the expectation is that 50% will be provided as on-site affordable housing; whereas developments >10 units are expected to give a financial contribution instead. The table above in Policy LP 36 shows what equivalent % contribution is required from different sized developments.
This policy applies to all types of development, from new-build housing to changes in use of residential schemes; and perhaps most importantly and uncommonly, to reversions as well – i.e. from 2 flats to 1 house. While economically seeking affordable housing contributions is rarely viable on reversions, the council unfortunately continue to enforce this policy subject to viability.
S106 Management have completed many successful viability challenges in Richmond, both during applications and appeals.
Therefore, we advise that a site specific viability assessment is completed on all developments of 1 or more units in Richmond, and particularly for any schemes planning to convert or revert 2 flats into 1 house.
Previous Work in Richmond
Proposed development = Convert building which is now 3 individual apartments back into its original state: a 5-bedroom family dwelling. In total the conversion will offer 259.5m2 of residential accommodation, with no additional space being created.
Policy Implications/Requirements = LP36 of the Richmond Local Plan suggests that developments of less than 10 units will provide a financial contribution, the % is dependant on the number of units being created.
Expectation on Affordable Housing = Policy LP36 suggests that the Council will seek a financial contribution equivalent to 4%. The Council also requested a further contribution of £41,000.
Result = The site was found to be unviable and therefore exempt from an affordable housing contribution and other payments.