Case Study: Affordable Housing Reduced to Zero

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Roger Hannah & Co, working in conjunction with Seddon Homes and Hourigan Connolly, have been successful in negotiating a reduction of affordable housing contribution to zero on a housing scheme in Banks, West Lancashire. The scheme will provide 128 new homes and 10,000 sqft of B1 space at the former Greaves Hall hospital site.

Outline consent for residential and employment uses was granted in 2014 on the brownfield site, which has been vacant since the early 1990s.   Since that time it became apparent that the site could not sustain the full requirement for affordable housing as required by Local Planning Policy.

Roger Hannah & Co was brought on board to present an economic viability case to mitigate these requirements.  After undertaking extensive market research and reviewing the proposed scheme it was clear that the restrictions that the affordable housing provision placed on the development were too onerous and would jeopardise the delivery of the scheme. In light of these findings it was agreed with the local authority that the affordable housing requirement was lifted completely so as to guarantee a viable scheme that would assist in meeting the housing needs of the Borough.

Features of the scheme that helped secure a recommendation for approval by planning officers included a new car park for the local St Stephen’s Primary School, the provision of footpaths and lighting to key local roads and 7.4 acres of public open space.

Roger Hannah & Co is well versed in undertaking viability assessments for both developers and Local Authorities and places us in an ideal position to understand the complexities of financial viability from both opposing positions.  This provides us with the knowledge to analyse developments in terms of their strengths and their weaknesses, allowing our reports to provide the most robust case possible.

Should you have any questions regarding viability assessments or any other development matters please get in contact with the team.