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Affordable housing ten-unit threshold a very blunt instrument

Date: 20/5/2016

Planning magazine reports that last week the Court of Appeal quashed a landmark High Court ruling that had overturned the government's affordable housing exemption policy last year. The policy stated that sites of under ten units or less than 1,000 square metres of floorspace should not be eligible for affordable housing contributions.DCLG has stated the ruling "restores" the policy, which would help smaller builders.

Graham Jones, the Planning Officers Society's S106 & Infractructure Delivery Specialist, said authorities would have to accept the policy in the short term. He said: "They will want to consider whether local circumstances allow them to propose a lower threshold through the local plan process. With the government policy in place, they are going to have to make a very good case."

Jones said the ten-unit threshold is "a very blunt instrument" that would "deny the opportunity for many authorities to secure much-needed affordable housing in circumstances where there are no issues of viability". He added: "It's clear that the government does not trust local authorities or examiners to produce balanced affordable housing policies through the local plan process."

graham-jones-02-pos.jpg  Graham Jones

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