Open letter sets out concerns over viability

A group from across the sector have called on Sajid Javid to look at proposals to simplify the viability assessment.

Sajid Javid is under pressure to make reforms to viability assessments after an open letter.

Sent in by Royal Institute of British Architects, Local Government Association, Town and Country Planning Association, Campaign to Protect Rural England and Create Streets, the letter calls for improved transparency.

The letter “welcomes” proposals in the ‘planning for the right homes in the right places’ document, which will look to “increase the transparency of the process of determining the viability of a proposed development.”

However, the organisations say they are “concerned” with some aspects of the plans.

The letter reads: “We are concerned the present system for assessing the viability of a site for development is weighted in favour of the applicant, leading to high land prices being paid at the expense of infrastructure, affordable housing and design quality.

“This creates uncertainty for all parties, and can undermine public confidence in the planning system.

“Whilst we consider that the proposals in the consultation could go some way towards simplifying the current process for viability assessment, we consider there is scope to go further.

“In particular, we would urge the government to explicitly state that all information submitted as part of, and in support of a viability assessment process, should be made public.”

The organisations say that although they will respond to the consultation individually, the importance meant they felt they had to write a combined letter.

Similar stories by tag