Nicky Gavron AM has commented on potential proposals for developers to publicise their viability assessments. These are used in planning processes to justify a reduction in the amount of on-site affordable housing that a developer has to offer in order to get planning permission.
Local Planning Authorities continue to struggle to resource their planning departments and there has long been a suspicion about the bases on which viability assessments are made. Would it really make it better though if developers had to reveal their actual costs and margins to the public, or would it steer developers away from bidding on marginal sites or sites the public sector is keenly interested in?
But how do we solve these problems? Guests and community groups who have developed real expertise in this area presented us with some ideas – from making viability agreements more transparent, lowering the profit benchmark, and providing better information sharing and training of staff.