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Eversheds comment: UK plans for small sites akin to giving someone with chronic pneumonia a cough sweet

  • United Kingdom

    03-12-2014

    Commenting on news that the government intends to explore whether more can be done to support the approval of small sites in the planning system, Stuart Andrews, partner and head of planning at law firm Eversheds, says:

    "The implications of these plans are that developments of 10 units or less which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of 1000sqm will not have to contribute towards affordable housing or other 'area-wide' infrastructure. Furthermore, in designated 'rural areas', Local Planning Authorities may choose to apply a lower threshold of 5 units or less. No affordable housing or tariff-style contributions should then be sought from such developments. In 'rural areas' where the lower 5 unit threshold is applied, contributions from developments of 6-10 units should be in the form of cash payments which are commuted until after the completion of units within the development.

    "This initiative should be broadly welcomed as it should free up smaller sites from the burden of affordable housing provision and hopefully also avoid the need for these schemes to complete a s106 Agreement. This should help speed up the consenting process and assist the rapid progression of these sites to market.

    "In the current UK housing crisis however, it is still akin to offering a cough sweet to someone with chronic pneumonia." 

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