Affordable Housing Viability Assessment

Consultants Levvel were appointed by the London Commuter Belt (East)/M11 Sub Region comprising Brentwood Borough Council, East Hertfordshire District Council, Epping Forest District Council, Harlow Council and Uttlesford District Council to undertake an Affordable Housing Viability Assessment.

The purpose of the study is to undertake a strategic assessment of the viability of a range of housing developments that will inform planning and housing policy.

The Uttlesford Local Plan was adopted in January 2005. Local Plan Policy H9 sets a target of 40% affordable housing on appropriate allocated and windfall sites, having regard to the up to date Housing Needs Survey, market and site considerations. A site size threshold of 0.5 hectares or of 15 dwellings applies.

The Council formally consulted on the Core Strategy Preferred Options document from 30th November 2007 to 11th January 2008. Policy DC1 (Housing Need) outlines that the preferred option proposes that the current 40% target should be maintained applying to schemes of 15 units or more or sites of 0.5 ha or above. Any future policy will also take on board the outcomes of the Strategic Housing Market Assessment.

In March 2012, Uttlesford District Council requested that Levvel undertake an 'update' of the Icon for pdf Affordable Housing Viability Assessment (Levvel, August 2010) [2.62MB] in order to assess:

1. How do current market conditions compare with the upside, middle or downside market scenarios assessed in the 2010 study;

2. Provide commentary on the potential impact on development viability of the introduction of the 2011-2015 Affordable Homes Programme - Framework and the associated changes to Annex B of Planning Policy Statement 3: Housing June 2011;

3. Provide commentary on the impact of the National Planning Policy Statement published on the 27 March 2012;

4. Provide commentary on the changes to the definition of zero carbon homes, announced in May 2011 and the associated potential impact upon the likely costs associated with the mandatory requirement for all residential dwellings to achieve Code for Sustainable Homes Level 6 in 2016

The Icon for pdf Affordable Housing Viability Update (Levvel, March 2012) [360.65KB] is the result of that updated assessment.


Additional information

Icon for pdf Affordable Housing Viability Assessment Appendices [4.68MB]