Planning magazine reports that more local planning authorities are likely to seek to levy affordable housing contributions on small sites following an attempt by the Planning Inspectorate to clarify the issue in a letter to the London Borough of Richmond upon Thames. The letter, responding to a complaint from the council about inconsistent appeal decisions on the issue, admitted errors and restated the primacy of authorities' local plans in decision-making.
Graham Jones, the S106 & Infrastructure Delivery Subject Specialist for the Planning Officers Society, said the letter was "quite an admission" by PINS. "It's one of very few communications where they say an inspector has got anything wrong," he said.
Jones declined to predict how many local authorities would bring forward new policies seeking to levy small site contributions. He said there were a "significant number" of authorities for whom a high proportion of their affordable housing supply came from small sites, making the issue "particularly important".