Surveyors and Property Consultants

Regeneration & Strategic Development

Planning & Development Policy


To be successful Planning and Development Policy must reflect real world realities in terms of the requirements and dynamics of the market.  In particular economic viability and development deliverability is now a central consideration of all planning policy.  Policies need to be deliverable and must accord to market demand and yet at the same time be cognisant of the likely lifespan of those policies.  A thorough evidence base is essential in formulating polices, if those polices are to be both robust and sustainable. We regularly work with Local Authorities and other organisations in formulating planning policies from Borough wide policies to area specific development plans.


Keppie Massie has extensive knowledge and experience of working with Local Authorities, registered providers and developers in all aspects of development economics and planning policy.  Our experience is wide ranging and at a policy level includes such matters as the preparation of viability and policy studies to inform Local Plan Preparation, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) charging schedules, Affordable Housing Policies and Area Action Plans.  We are experienced in presenting viability evidence to stakeholders at public inquires and in all forms of examinations.


Effective policy is crucially important in delivering future development for both residential and commercial.  Following publication of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), viability is one of the most fundamental principles of the evidence base supporting the Local Plan and its policies.  A robust and balanced economic viability study should ensure that the delivery of development and associated infrastructure is maximised so far as current and future property market conditions permit.  Enabling targeting of development to key and preferred locations within the emerging Local Plan, promoting regeneration, maximising employment and ensuring that if any rural sites or greenbelt land are released for development this is achieved in a manner that is controlled and appropriate.  A properly informed and sound economic viability study will ensure that an Authority has a planning framework that optimises the prospects for new development.  This must be balanced against the requirement to achieve certain planning obligations and infrastructure provision that will enable such new development to proceed.


An economic viability study is about getting the correct blend of policy requirements and drafting to achieve an appropriate level of future development, which is supported by a programme of necessary infrastructure provision to enable and enhance new neighbourhoods and employment locations. If an economic viability study does not reflect a sound and appropriate evidence base, then it will only serve to undermine the Local Plan.   It is likely that the Plan would not successfully pass through the examination process and in the unlikely event that it did, the adopted planning policies would only serve to stifle rather than promote future development.

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