DCLG has now reinstated the Planning Practice Guidance that gives effect to the Small Sites exemption; which was declared lawful by the Court of Appeal, in the West Berkshire case, earlier this month.
Paragraph: 031Reference ID: 23b-031-20160519 was reintroduced over night and confirms that tariff style contributions should not be sought from developments of ten units or less, which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of less than 1000 square metres.
The guidance also brings back the vacant building credit - which provides a discount against affordable housing contributions for vacant buildings which are demolished and replaced or bought back into use. This effectively exempts such buildings from making affordable housing contributions, unless the replacement or refurbished buildings have increased in size.
The full text of the reinstated guidance can be found on:
"As set out in the Starter Homes Written Ministerial Statement of 2 March 2015, starter homes exception sites should not be required to make affordable housing or tariff-style section 106 contributions. There are specific circumstances where contributions for affordable housing and tariff style planning obligations (section 106 planning obligations) should not be sought from small scale and self-build development. This follows the order of the Court of Appeal dated 13 May 2016, which give legal effect to the policy set out in the Written Ministerial Statement of 28 November 2014 and should be taken into account. These circumstances are that; contributions should not be sought from developments of 10-units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of no more than 1000sqm 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 these developments. In addition, in a rural area where the lower 5-unit or less threshold is applied, affordable housing and tariff style contributions should be sought from developments of between 6 and 10-units in the form of cash payments which are commuted until after completion of units within the development. This applies to rural areas described under section 157(1) of the Housing Act 1985, which includes National Parks and Areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty affordable housing and tariff-style contributions should not be sought from any development consisting only of the construction of a residential annex or extension to an existing home"