Responding to the economic downturn and creating the conditions for the continued growth and regeneration of the Borough is a top priority for the Authority. Planning has a key role to play in achieving these ambitions guiding development, creating attractive places to live, work and visit and enabling the provision of infrastructure to support growth. The Council is committed to providing the conditions for growth including ensuring the viability of development.
For approximately 5 years the Authority has successfully addressed investors concerns with the viability of delivery of sites through the use of viability appraisal. This has maintained the delivery of housing schemes in the Borough. Although this flexible approach has been in place for some time, given the continued economic downturn and reflecting the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), the Authority is now formalising its approach to viability.
In addition the Council recognise the need to provide investors with as much cost certainty regarding planning obligations, at as an early stage as possible and to ensure negotiations with the Council are coordinated and decision-making is timely.
Telford & Wrekin Council is currently preparing a new Telford & Wrekin Local Plan which is anticipated to be adopted in late 2016. The introduction of a Community Infrastructure Levy remains under review. The Local Plan and any related CIL will recommend appropriate changes to policy in relation to planning obligations and affordable housing considering the viability of development. In the interim this ‘Guidance Note’ provides advice on planning obligations usually contained within a Section 106 Agreement. The guidance does not establish new planning policy. Adopted policy is set out in the Core Strategy, Central Telford Area Action Plan (CTAAP) and saved policies from the Wrekin Local Plan.
In line with adopted policy the following % of affordable housing will be sought:
- Telford – 38% or 20% for sites within CTAAP
- Newport – 35%
- Rural Area – 40%
Where viability is identified as a concern in achieving the Policy position, a viability statement will need to be provided. Information must be submitted using a standard template and the Council will review and respond to appraisals within 10 working days.
While on-site provision remains the preference, for schemes in Telford of less than 50 units, where robust evidence through viability assessment indicates it acceptable, a commuted sum or off-site provision may be accepted in respect of all or part of the affordable housing requirement.
Other Planning Obligations
Developers are encouraged at an early stage to discuss the rates and formula as part of pre-application advice in order to assist with calculating anticipated obligations and to maximise cost certainty, they will cover:
- Open Space
In relation to Highways contributions these will be calculated on an open book basis. Sites within the CTAAP area will continue to have contributions determined by the adopted formula model.
View more information on the considerations and decisions, obligations and timescales involved with applications. Download both Section 106 instructions and a template S106 agreement.
Applications and the level of contributions will vary in scale, location, ground conditions and a range of other factors. All potential applicants and investors are encouraged to approach the Development Management Team at the earliest opportunity to seek free pre application advice. From pre application stage a dedicated Development Management Project Manager will be allocated who will lead on behalf of the Council in relation to all aspects of negotiation of S106 Agreements. The Project Manager will coordinate a team approach ensuring all relevant issues are addressed at the outset.