Landmark ruling offers more options to owners of small development sites
Published May 12th, 2016
Yesterday (Wednesday 11th May), the Court of Appeal upheld the Government recommendation to exempt smaller development sites from affordable housing contributions. This exemption applies to developments with 10 dwellings or fewer or those that are less than 1,000 square metres. In rural areas, including AONBs and National Parks, the threshold for the exemption is reduced to 5 dwellings.
This is hugely beneficial for individuals with small development sites; this ruling opens up options which had been previously unviable due to the need for payment of an affordable housing contribution.
Stuart Thomas, Berrys’ head of planning, commented: ‘This ruling will no doubt bring an increased number of applications for smaller housing sites, resulting in an increased housing land supply. Given that this is one of the current key Government objectives, it certainly seems a logical move and one that will be welcomed by many of our clients.’
“As a consequence of this judgement there is also a potential that certain councils, including Shropshire, will find that the housing policies in their plan are out of date. This has significant consequences for current planning applications and appeals and there may well also be the opportunity to revisit schemes with signed and completed S106 agreements.”
Stuart added: “While the hope is that this ruling will remain unchallenged, there is a small possibility of a further appeal to the Supreme Court if the councils who challenged the Government wish to do so. The key action now, regardless of any future appeal, is for all clients to consider their options to maximise this welcome relief on affordable housing requirements.’
For further guidance on this regulation or for assistance with your own small housing development site, please contact Stuart Thomas on 01743 267069 or firstname.lastname@example.org