This approach will help guide the discussion and support an agreement being reached between the Responsible Authority and the landowner concerning the delivery of affordable housing.
Where there is a broad agreement between the parties to enter negotiations voluntarily, the following approach is suggested:
- The decision to enter into negotiations and conclude an agreement is voluntary. A planning condition in relation to affordable housing delivery must have the explicit written agreement of the landowner. Parties may elect to cease negotiations at any stage.
- The Responsible Authority should clearly set out:
- The underlying value they expect has been, or will be, created through the planning approval process or other mechanisms or incentives to support the delivery of the affordable housing.
- The way that value is proposed to be shared between the Responsible Authority and the landowner.
- The outcomes they expect can be generated from this value.
- Regard must be given to the commercial viability of delivering a negotiated affordable housing outcome. Contributions should not unduly impact on development progression, market supply or affordability.
- Determination of what constitutes an acceptable affordable housing outcome should be made with reference to the definition of affordable housing set out in the Planning and Environment Act 1987 and with regard to the interest and financial capacity of proposed end recipient to own and/or manage the dwellings generated by the Affordable Housing Agreement.
- The decision as to the end recipient of any affordable housing contribution should rest with the landowner (or planning applicant acting on behalf of the landowner) in consultation with the proposed end recipient and the Responsible Authority.
- Conditions on the management and use of the affordable housing should be limited – especially where the managements and use of the affordable housing is regulated through other means as is the case with social housing. If deemed necessary, proposed conditions on the management and use of the affordable housing should be agreed to by a proposed end recipient. Undue restrictions that limit an end recipient’s ability to manage dwellings, including restrictions on title, can create significant costs to the end recipient and should be avoided.