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Development viability challenge provision to end this month

Published: Thursday, 14th April 2016

Ministers have decided not to extend sections 106BA, 106BB and 106BC of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990. These sections will therefore be repealed at the end of 30 April 2016.

The Department for Communities and Local Government has confirmed that the temporary mechanism allowing developers to change or waive affordable housing planning obligations on the grounds of scheme viability will not be extended beyond the end of this month. 

A DCLG press officer said: “The provisions were introduced as a temporary measure aimed at unlocking sites which had stalled because the planning obligation to provide affordable housing had rendered the development scheme unviable.

“A number of sites stalled because agreements negotiated at the height of the housing boom were no longer economically viable. These resulted in no development, no regeneration and no community benefits.”

Applications can still be submitted to the appropriate authority under section 106BA until the end of 30 April 2016. If an application is submitted before that date, and the local planning authority either does not agree with the developer’s revised proposal for affordable housing or does not determine the application, a subsequent appeal to the Secretary of State will generally still be considered, provided any procedural requirements are complied with.

The press officer added: “The National Planning Practice Guidance (planning obligations, paragraphs 9 and 11), and the section 106 affordable housing requirements (review and appeal) guidance will continue to apply to applications submitted before the end of 30 April 2016.

 “Local authorities and developers have other options for re-negotiating planning obligations related to affordable housing, including by mutual agreement or under section 106A of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990.”

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Roger Milne