The objective of our survey was to assess the impact of new national planning policy exempting development of 10 homes or less and redevelopment of vacant buildings (the so-called ‘Vacant Building Credit') from section 106 affordable housing contributions.
- 77 per cent of respondents strongly or tended to agree that the new s106 policy will result in a smaller number of new affordable homes in their authority area.
- 85 per cent strongly or tended to agree that vacant building credit would result in a smaller number of new affordable homes and/or decrease in financial contributions towards new affordable homes.
- More than nine in 10 respondents (93 per cent of those that prior to the s106 changes had received financial contributions) strongly or tended to agree that the new s106 policy will result in a decrease in financial contributions towards new affordable homes in their authority area.
- The introduction of the new s106 policy has had negative impacts on the number of affordable units and/or financial contributions of outstanding planning applications. Sixty six per cent were able to identify impacts on outstanding planning applications, the most common was a refusal by developers to pay affordable housing s106 contribution which had been agreed in principle before the announcement was made (31 per cent). The second impact most experienced was the withdrawal and resubmission of planning applications with the affordable housing element removed.
- Councils were already taking a flexible approach in accepting financial contributions towards affordable homes from developers of sites of less than 10 units before the new policy was introduced.
- The councils were already varying levels of affordable housing contributions required on sites of less than 10 units based on local circumstances before the new policy was introduced.
- Just over half (51 per cent) of councils have areas they consider to be rural in nature, to which, because they do not meet the ‘rural' criteria introduced by government, they won't be able to apply a lower threshold.
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