A major UK housebuilder submitted a planning application for the conversion of a Grade ll listed former laboratory and manufacturing premises located in Welwyn Garden City extending to circa 33,000 sq ft to provide 34 flats. Planning policy required 30% of the flats to be provided as affordable housing units split 70:30 between rented and immediate provision.
We liaised with the client s specialist cost consultants and provided detailed viability evidence that demonstrated that the cost of conversion was such that a policy compliant scheme was not viable. In addition we also provided valuation evidence in respect of the Threshold Land Value.
Following negotiations with the Local Planning Authority s agent planning permission was granted on the basis of nil affordable housing subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement incorporating a viability review mechanism for the calculation of a potential off-site payment. Negotiations are currently underway in respect of the appropriate formula and trigger date.