The Greater London Authority is currently consulting on new supplementary planning guidance that addresses the tricky issue of securing affordable housing on developments in greater London.

Although the proposed SPG does not remove the aspirational target of 50% affordable housing; it goes a long way towards recognising that the target is simply not realistic in the vast majority of cases. 

The draft guidance proposes removing the requirement to provide detailed viability evidence from schemes that provide at least 35% affordable housing, in the form of approved or acceptable tenures, without public subsidy. Schemes which cannot reach this threshold would, however, still need to go through a full viability assessment to justify their position. 

The guidance also suggests that a less onerous target could well be reasonable for Build to Rent or PRS schemes, because of the very different viability profile of these types of developments - something which is frequently overlooked by local authorities when they are making planning policy decisions. 

The consultation period will last from 29 November 2016 to 28 February 2017 and full details of how to respond can be found at:  http://www.london.gov.uk/what-we-do/planning/implementing-london-plan/supplementary-planning-guidance/affordable-housing-and

If you are active in the London Market, it may well be sensible to get involved.