Hi, just wanted to ask, there are 2 of us who are planning to do a self-build. We have contracted to purchase land from a construction company who have asked us to complete negotiations for the Infrastructure Contribution & Affordable Housing Contributions with the Local Planning Office. The application is for the erection of two 4 bed houses. What is the likelyhood of reducing these contributions as the council have suggested they have an amount in mind? How do I register as a self-builder? TA

Comments
  • Jeremy Murfitt

    Ed

    First point what exactly are you buying? Is it two stand alone plots or two plots which are part of a larger development. If they are asking you to "complete negotiations" then it implies that planning permission has not been granted for the development. In the majority of cases any S106 Obligations and Affordable Housing contributions are dealt with (and costed) before the planning permission is issued. In fact the planning permission isn’t formally granted until the S106 is signed.

    If you have purchased two standalone plots you could be required to make a financial contribution via a S106 towards affordable housing. However the provision of affordable homes only usually applies to larger schemes. In the relevant Local Plan or Core Strategy there will be a policy which will say something like – "for applications of more than 15 [could be 12, 20 etc] dwellings there will be a provision required for 20% affordable homes".

    If your two plots are part of a larger scheme you need to understand exactly what you are buying and what proportion of the overall S106 costs you are being asked to pay. I personally would get these figures agreed and in your contract and if possible for the seller to indemnify you against any other planning/S106 costs.

    Jeremy

    Jeremy

  • Anonymous

    Don’t forget too that these AHCs and 106s are completely negotiable (unlike CIL). If they make your project unviable then in theory they can be appealed as well.

  • Antony Atkins

    In my area, social housing tax (a.ka. AHC) is imposed whenever sites have more than 5 houses or a "red line" site area of more than 0.16 hectares. I know a planning consultant who is looking at a site at the moment where, since the red-line includes an existing longish private access road, the site area for a single new house exceeds 0.16 hectare. Consequently the LPA is demanding, with a straight face, a social housing contribution of 30% of the gross development value in cash, and a further £21K in S106 tax. The finished 150m2 property will probably be worth about £450K, so they are asking for a grand total of £156K, which is more than the likely build cost.

    Perhaps the figure can be "negotiated", but the planning officers just keep ducking the issue by referring him to their tariff and say he can submit a viability assessment if he wishes, but he will have to pay the local authority’s costs to evaluate this. At the moment the consultant is expecting the application to fail and he will then take it to appeal so he can get someone relatively objective to look at it.

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