As regular visitors to the site, or readers of the magazine, will have noticed, we’ve been working hard to let you know about the impact that the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) is having on self-builders’ plans across the country.

So it pains me – it really does – to bring you more negative news of potential burdens, but this is just unmissable. I’ve just finished editing a piece by our planning expert, Sally Tagg, on the growing trend for local councils to target self-builders for Affordable Housing Contributions. Here is a highlight:

“For many years, affordable housing is predominantly provided as a planning condition on the provision of larger schemes e.g. 15 dwellings or more. However in recent years, as the number of houses being built by developers has slowed, fewer affordable dwellings have been built — just at the time in the economic cycle when they are needed more than ever. In order to address this deficit, some local authorities have implemented – and others are preparing – new planning policies to ensure that sufficient affordable housing can still be provided. As a result, the provision of affordable housing is now often being linked to the creation of one or more market units — meaning that self-builders will increasingly be asked by their local planning authority to provide a financial contribution towards the provision of affordable housing.

Contributions in respect of affordable housing are set in relation to the size of a new property, either in terms of the number of bedrooms or floor space. The affordable housing contribution recently set by Three Rivers District Council in Hertfordshire in its highest value area would be £187,500 for a 150m² property.”

Let me emphasise that again – £187,500 to build a new 150m² home in a posh part of Hertfordshire.

In other news, civil servants set up task forces to try and understand why housebuilding numbers are at record lows.

  • Anonymous

    With regard to these Affordable Housing Contributions? Are they the new name for CIL or are they instead of or in addition to?
    Also what about the section 106 agreements that exist for multiple builds – are they now done away with?

  • Rebecca Clutton

    Hmm, how many contributions will pay the wages of the task force I wonder……

    Our new build is facing a £24k CIL and £11,700 contribution to affordable housing (it’s capped in Shropshire to that figure as a maximum). Compared to Hertfordshire, we’re getting off lightly but it’s still a potential deal-breaker 🙁

  • Nigel Lewis

    The £187,500 contribution for affordable housing is likely to be more than the build cost on a 150m2 house.

    So let

  • Anonymous

    I think Jason is referring to the Three Rivers Affordable Housing Policy, July 2011, section 7.3 . In it there is also a worked example showing that a developer putting up three tiny 76sq.m two bedroom houses in Chorleywood would have to pay £285,000 for affordable housing in lieu of on site provision.

    There must be an acute need, but are any housebuilders building in Chorleywood?

  • Nigel Lewis

    Are you for real?

    To be allowed to build the three "tiny" 76m2 houses the builder must pay the council £285,000. The three houses would not even cost that to build. even at £1200 per m2 the houses would come in cheaper than this contribution. The Council are effectively more than doubling the build cost.

    As I said "in an attempt to make properties more affordable for one group of people the Council makes self build properties unaffordable for everyone".

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