West Berkshire Affordable Housing Policy

West Berkshire adopted their Core Strategy back in July 2012, which states that “it sets out the long-term vision for West Berkshire to 2026… setting out proposals for where development will go, and how this development will be built”.

West Berkshire Council has set out an overall target of 35% of all new housing to be affordable; however, this has been split out into thresholds depending on scheme size, with contributions sought on sites under the commonly assumed 10+ unit threshold established by the NPPF.

Policy CS6 of the Core Strategy sets out the expectations regarding affordable housing in the area, this can be seen below:

As seen above, there are different requirements based on the number of dwellings proposed in the development and the type of land involved.

For developments providing 15+ units or on sites of 0.5ha or more, the requirement will be 30%of the dwellings as affordable on previously developed land and 40% on-site AH on greenfield land.

For developments of less than 15 dwellings there is a sliding scale to determine affordable housing provision. Developments of 10-14 units will be expected to provide 30% on-site, compared to the development of 5-9 units where 20% of the gross number of dwellings will be required as affordable housing.

CS6 requires a viability assessment to be submitted for any scheme not proposing to meet these targets, which will inform the negotiated process. If you are working on a small site in West Berkshire and consider the proposed contribution will threaten the deliverability of your project, call us today to discuss how we can assist.

Previous Work in West Berkshire

Proposed development = Change of use from a guest house to seven self-contained duplex apartments, total of 464.6m2 of residential accommodation.

Policy implications/requirements = Developments of 5-9 dwellings in West Berkshire are to provide 20% affordable housing on-site.

Expectation on Affordable Housing = The LPA confirmed they were only looking for 1 on-site affordable unit.

Result = The LPA’s targeted onsite delivery was agreed to be unviable. The scheme was approved with a zero contribution and all units sold on the open market.

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