Surveyors and Property Consultants

Regeneration & Strategic Development

Viability Assessments: Planning Obligations & Policy Requirements


Development economics is central to the delivery of all forms of development in the built environment whether that development is in the form of area wide proposals, individual buildings or infrastructure schemes.   All projects are based on a viability appraisal and an in depth understanding of the financial make up of a project is critical to promoting and ensuring its delivery.


More often than not development is finely balanced and the viability of an individual project is at the margins.  This is particularly so given the conditions in the current property market.   Additional requirements and obligations on development then can have a significant impact on a specific project’s deliverability.  Planning obligations imposed by way of policy requirements, conditions or S.106 obligations, such as affordable housing, can then have a fundamental impact on the viability, and hence the ultimate deliverability of a scheme and yet the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) has at its core the requirement for planning obligations to be such as to still ensure that development remains deliverable.  The NPPF fundamentally promotes the proposition of development being allowed to proceed.


We are at the forefront of development economics and are market leaders within the field.  We have undertaken viability appraisals on all forms of development and in all parts of the UK.  Our experience and track record in this sector is enviable and is based on a thorough understanding of the development process, a detailed and project specific analysis of the relevant market and a fundamental examination and appreciation of development costs.  Coupled with this experience and knowledge, we have a full understanding of the relevant legislative framework, the guidance produced by various bodies and professional institutions, case law and planning appeal decisions and the whole range of viability appraisal packages, methods and approaches.


We act for many Local Authorities in reviewing developers’ proposals, negotiating and agreeing appropriate and viable S.106 and other planning obligation packages and ultimately allowing development to progress whilst ensuring that the Authority’s position is maximised.  We are also adept at translating complicated appraisals into straightforward propositions and identifying issues, which allows decisions to be made in a full understanding of all of the circumstances.


We advise developers and landowners on a nationwide basis on schemes which can not afford policy requirements.  We clearly, systematically and legibly present the case to the Planning Authority and, where necessary, undertake negotiations with the Authority’s agents.  We have been exceptionally successful in securing reduced policy requirements in relation to numerous schemes and as a result have enabled development to progress.


Our extensive experience extends to presenting viability evidence at public inquiries and examinations and advising on the form and drafting of S.106 Agreements.  The Department of Communities & Local Government (DCLG) and the Homes & Communities Agency (HCA) have recognised our expertise in this sector as we have been appointed to their panel of expert mediators charged with the task of finding solutions to stalled development schemes.

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