We undertake development viability work for the private sector across the UK.
Our clients include all types of developers and land-owners from national housebuilders to local farmers and all points in between.
Development viability first came to prominence in planning during the financial crisis of 2008 when it was used to “unlock” stalled developments that could no longer be delivered with the planning contributions that had been agreed in better economic times.
Now, area-wide viability assessments are used in plan-making to assess contributions for local plan policy.
Unfortunately, most of these are-wide assessments were carried out in more benign economic times and are essentially out of date in the current market. As a result, many schemes cannot meet the planning contributions required by the adopted or emerging local plans.
Scheme Specific Viability
Where a development proposal cannot make the required planning contributions, we prepare scheme-specific Financial Viability Assessments (FVA’s) to calculate and justify the contributions that can be made.
These FVA’s need to be prepared in accordance with ever-changing Government Guidance in the NPPF and must comply with RICS guidance and professional standards.
Negotiating Reduced Contributions
Understandably, councils do not want to lose the contributions they were expecting and so negotiating reduced contributions is never easy. Matters become worse if local politicians see intransigence as a “vote-winner”.
But development takes place in the current market. If that is different to the market when the area-wide viability assessment was made, then the local plan is out of date.
In those circumstances, if contributions are not amended, development will not happen.