A Viability Assessment prepared by ET Planning on behalf of their client, has paved the way for creating 28 new flats in the Hemel Hempstead area; providing much needed affordable housing for the council whilst still ensuring a profitable development.
The proposed development will see the conversion of retail office/storage space, and the construction of an additional part 2-storey, part 3-storey vertical extension creating 28 flats.
A viability assessment is an important part of a planning process for a large development such as this because it allows all parties to understand how the scheme could be deliverable in a real world environment, with policies and profits taken into account.
In this instance the assessment evidenced that in order for the development to be viable the affordable housing requirements stated by the council would need to be reduced.
Local Policy states that 35% of the new residential development should provide affordable housing, this would be equivalent to 10 of the 28 new units. However, in line with the viable profit margin, the viability assessment sets out that only 3 units could be provided.
Using their specialist planning knowledge and their bespoke viability assessment tool, ET Planning were able to demonstrate and evidence that this development would only be viable should a reduction in affordable housing be applied.
As part of the viability assessment ET Planning explained that part of the existing building could be converted under permitted development rights which would allow 4 new flats to created aside from affordable housing requirements.
They also carried out detailed calculations of the costs and values associated with the development including build costs, independent estate agent valuations, legal fees, professional fees and registered provider contracts. Using this information and applying a fair and reasonable approach, the ET Planning team were able to conclude that the scheme could support 3 shared ownership units.
This position has now been agreed to thanks to this assessment which evidenced the only viable route to development. Now both parties can now move forward, in an agreed position, towards creating a development that will bring new housing to a popular area.
If you are in the early stages of a development proposal and are keen to understand the viability of your proposal against local planning policy, please get in touch and we would be very happy to discuss producing a viability assessment for you.