Financial Viability Assessment


Financial Viability Assessment
White text on teal background reading Financial Viability Assessment

Financial Viability Assessment (FVA) is a critical component in the planning and development process in England. It helps determine whether a proposed development project is economically feasible and sustainable. In this article, we will explore:

  • The legal and regulatory framework governing FVA
  • The process of conducting an FVA
  • The impact of FVA on planning decisions
  • The role of planning and development consultancies in FVA


Understanding the importance of Financial Viability Assessment in the context of planning and development can contribute to better decision-making and sustainable development outcomes.

Legal and Regulatory Framework for FVA in England

What is the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF)?

The National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) provides guidance on planning policies in England. It emphasizes the importance of Financial Viability Assessment in promoting sustainable development. The NPPF requires that:

  • Development proposals should be viable and deliverable
  • Local plans should reflect the need for FVA in policy-making

How do the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations impact FVA?

The Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Regulations play a crucial role in the Financial Viability Assessment process. These regulations:

  • Establish the framework for levying charges on development projects
  • Influence the balance between infrastructure provision and project viability
  • An FVA can show when CIL charges render a project unviable

What are Local Plan policies and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs)?

Local Plan policies and Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs) provide detailed guidance on FVA requirements at the local level. They:

  • Set out affordable housing and infrastructure requirements
  • Determine site-specific FVA expectations
  • Ensure alignment with the NPPF and CIL Regulations

How do local planning authorities utilise FVA?

Local planning authorities have a critical role in assessing the financial viability of proposed development projects. Their responsibilities include:

  • Reviewing and validating FVA submissions
  • Ensuring compliance with national and local policies
  • Facilitating negotiations between developers and other stakeholders


The regulatory framework for Financial Viability Assessment in England aims to promote sustainable development, balancing economic feasibility with community needs.

The FVA Process

When is an FVA required?

Identifying the need for a Financial Viability Assessment is the first step in the process. An FVA is typically required for:

  • Large-scale development projects
  • Proposals with significant affordable housing or infrastructure requirements
  • Projects seeking planning concessions or exemptions

What are the key elements of a comprehensive FVA?

A comprehensive Financial Viability Assessment includes several key elements, such as:

  1. Development appraisal: Evaluating costs, revenues, and profit margins
  2. Land value assessment: Estimating the site’s existing and potential value
  3. Residual value analysis: Determining the remaining value after development costs
  4. Sensitivity and risk analysis: Assessing the potential impact of changes in key variables

How to prepare and submit an FVA report?

Preparing and submitting the FVA report involves:

  • Engaging a qualified planning and development consultancy
  • Conducting the required analyses using appropriate methodologies
  • Presenting the findings in a clear and concise report
  • Submitting the report to the relevant local planning authority

What is the role of local planning authorities in reviewing FVA?

Local planning authorities play a crucial role in reviewing Financial Viability Assessment submissions. They are responsible for:

  • Independently verifying the FVA’s findings
  • Ensuring compliance with applicable policies and regulations
  • Providing feedback and facilitating negotiations if necessary

The FVA process is integral to ensuring that development proposals are financially viable and sustainable, promoting better planning decisions and outcomes.

Impact of FVA on Planning Decisions

How does FVA ensure development projects are financially viable?

Financial Viability Assessment plays a crucial role in planning decisions by:

  • Confirming that a project’s costs and revenues are balanced
  • Identifying potential risks and uncertainties
  • Ensuring that the proposal can deliver the intended outcomes

How does FVA balance affordable housing and community infrastructure provision?

FVA helps strike a balance between affordable housing and infrastructure provision by:

  • Evaluating the financial implications of policy requirements
  • Identifying opportunities for value engineering or alternative funding sources
  • Facilitating negotiations between developers and planning authorities

How does FVA promote sustainable development?

Financial Viability Assessment contributes to sustainable development by:

  • Encouraging efficient use of land and resources
  • Supporting the delivery of affordable housing and community infrastructure
  • Ensuring the long-term economic viability of development projects

How does FVA facilitate negotiations between developers and planning authorities?

FVA serves as a valuable tool in negotiations between developers and planning authorities by:

  • Providing evidence-based insights into project viability
  • Highlighting potential areas for compromise or alternative solutions
  • Establishing a common ground for informed decision-making


The impact of Financial Viability Assessment on planning decisions is significant, helping to create a sustainable balance between economic feasibility and community needs.

Role of Planning and Development Consultancies in FVA

What expertise do consultancies bring to the FVA process?

Planning and development consultancies offer valuable expertise in Financial Viability Assessment by:

  • Understanding FVA methodologies and best practices
  • Staying updated on legal and regulatory changes
  • Utilizing specialized tools and software for accurate analyses

How do consultancies navigate the planning and regulatory landscape?

Consultancies assist clients in navigating the complex planning and regulatory landscape by:

  • Collaborating with local planning authorities and stakeholders
  • Ensuring compliance with national and local policies
  • Guiding clients through the FVA submission and review process

What is the role of consultancies in collaborating with developers, local authorities, and stakeholders?

Planning and development consultancies foster collaboration by:

  • Facilitating communication between parties
  • Identifying common goals and interests
  • Mediating negotiations and resolving potential conflicts

How do consultancies provide evidence-based recommendations?

Consultancies support decision-making in Financial Viability Assessment by:

  • Conducting thorough research and analysis
  • Presenting findings in a clear and accessible format
  • Offering practical, actionable recommendations based on evidence


The role of planning and development consultancies in FVA is instrumental in ensuring projects are financially viable, compliant with regulations, and beneficial to communities.

Exploring the Different Purposes of FVAs

Financial Viability Assessments (FVAs) serve various purposes in the planning and development process. These assessments are critical for ensuring the financial feasibility and sustainability of projects, while adhering to policy requirements. Some of the different purposes of FVAs include:

Viability Assessments for Development Proposals

FVAs are used to evaluate the financial viability of proposed development projects, ensuring that they are economically feasible, deliverable, and sustainable. ET Planning offers expert Viability Assessment services to guide clients through this crucial aspect of the planning process.

Affordable Housing Viability Assessments

Affordable housing provision is a significant aspect of sustainable development. FVAs play a critical role in determining the appropriate level of affordable housing that a development project can feasibly provide. ET Planning’s Affordable Housing Viability Assessment services ensure that your project strikes the right balance between meeting policy requirements and maintaining financial viability.

By understanding the different purposes of Financial Viability Assessments, you can better appreciate the value of these assessments in the planning and development process. Partnering with an experienced consultancy like ET Planning can help you navigate the complexities of FVAs and achieve successful project outcomes.


Understanding the importance of Financial Viability Assessment in the planning and development process is crucial for achieving sustainable development outcomes in England. A well-conducted FVA can:

  • Ensure projects are financially viable
  • Balance affordable housing and community infrastructure provision
  • Support informed decision-making and negotiations

Take Charge of Your Project's Financial Viability Today!

Are you in need of expert guidance for preparing a Financial Viability Assessment? Contact ET Planning today to:

  • Benefit from our extensive experience in FVA
  • Navigate the planning and regulatory landscape with ease
  • Collaborate with a team of professionals dedicated to your project’s success


Don’t leave your project’s financial viability to chance. Let ET Planning help you achieve the best possible outcome. Get in touch with us to discuss your FVA needs.

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