This blog post explores how the meaning of affordable housing has evolved following the publication of the revised National Planning Policy Framework (“NPPF”) on 24 July 2018 and the Draft New London Plan showing Minor Suggested Changes on 13 August 2018. This is part of our ‘back to basics’ affordable housing series and is intended to supersede entry 1 in the series. Continue reading
Tag: London Plan
This article was first published on Lexis®PSL Planning on 9 August 2018.
Will the government’s new planning rulebook deliver on its promises? Robert Walton, barrister at Landmark Chambers, says the new National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) is a step in the right direction and should result in more houses. Matthew White, partner and head of the planning team in Herbert Smith Freehills LLP’s London office, predicts that, by itself, the revised NPPF will not streamline the planning process, nor close the gap between planning permissions and housing delivery. Continue reading
The revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was published on 24 July 2018. This post considers what difference it will make – in terms of the impact on developers, whether the government’s aims will be achieved and how soon its effects might be seen.
On the whole, policies in the revised NPPF are more restrictive. Tighter controls over design standards, green belt boundaries, developer contributions and viability appraisals, stronger protection for the environment and the introduction of the “agent of change” principle to new development all provide little incentive to bring forward development.
A welcome change, however, is that LPAs should now take a more flexible approach to daylight and sunlight issues.
The new standardised methodology for calculating housing need, which takes effect immediately, represents a significant change for residential development. It will provide more certainty on housing requirements in each LPA’s area, generally with an increase in housing targets. Local authorities’ success in delivering against these targets will be assessed by the new Housing Delivery Test. From November 2018 local plans will be deemed out of date if the LPA fails to deliver 25% of its housing target as assessed by the new standardised methodology; this threshold will increase in subsequent years to 45% of the target from November 2019 and 75% of the target from November 2020. If local plans are deemed out of date the presumption in favour of sustainable development will be brought into play, increasing the likelihood that planning permission will be granted. Continue reading
The High Court has declared a key policy in the mayor of London’s planning guidance on affordable housing ‘unlawful’ – but what does that mean in practice? Matthew White, Partner and Head of UK planning, explains the impact of the decision in this article published on EGi on 25 June 2018, in hard copy in Estates Gazette on 30 June 2018.
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This post has been superseded by a new post assessing affordable housing under the revised National Planning Policy Framework published in July 2018 and the draft New London Plan showing Minor Suggested Changes published in August 2018. See here for the new post.
“Affordable housing” – two words that those working in the property and planning world can hardly move without seeing flashed about everywhere. There is a wealth of information available on the subject. However, much of it is technical, highly detailed and assumes an existing level of knowledge that can make it hard for those who are new to the industry or who haven’t previously come across affordable housing to really get to grips with the subject. This blog is the first in a series of blogs that we will be publishing over the coming weeks that will go back to basics to explain what is affordable housing in England, what are the different types, who is eligible for it, how is it implemented and what it means for private developers.
Herbert Smith Freehills are running workshops for property developers on housing and viability, with a focus on London and interpreting the Mayor’s recently adopted guidance on viability and affordable housing. In our workshops we run through a case study with actual calculations showing how viability reviews work under the Mayor’s new formulae. Please contact us for more information on the workshops.
Background: proposals on a national and London-wide scale to address the housing crisis
Following the Government’s Housing White Paper (in February 2017), several recent publications by the Government and the Mayor of London set out proposed changes to planning legislation and policy, designed to address the housing crisis:
– The Mayor of London adopted his Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) in August 2017. This SPG aims to improve transparency and trust in the planning process, with a focus on viability information, and aims to increase the expectation of actual delivery of affordable housing to at least 35% (and 50% on public land) for each new development scheme which proposes 10 or more new homes, with an overall long-term strategic aim of at least half of all new homes in London being affordable. The method and explanations in the Mayor’s SPG are more detailed and rigorous than those in the Government’s national consultation (see below), and there have been industry calls for the Mayor’s methodology to be used nation-wide. Continue reading
Author: Martyn Jarvis, Associate, Planning, Real Estate, London
The UK is facing a housing crisis, most pronounced in London, and this is set to be a key factor in the forthcoming Mayoral elections. Meanwhile, commercial viability is the talk of the town. How “viable” a scheme is will influence how much affordable housing can be provided. Requiring disclosure of viability information across London, standardising land value calculations, standardising viability methodology and fixing affordable housing targets are amongst recent recommendations made to the Government and to the Mayor.
Transparent viability information is already required in Islington, and with Greenwich and Southwark following suit where schemes are not policy compliant, the London Assembly are now urging the Mayor to adopt this approach across London. Over the past few weeks the London Assembly Planning Committee and London First have both presented papers aimed at steering a policy shift once the new Mayor takes office.