You may recall in November 2014 the government published a written ministerial statement on affordable housing and other tariff-based contributions from development.
The new policy proposed that:
(1) developments of no more than 10 homes (with a gross floorspace not exceeding 1,000 sq m) would be exempted from levies for affordable housing and tariff-based contributions,
(2) but in designated rural areas, National Parks and AONBs, the exemptions would apply only to developments not exceeding 5 new homes; developments of 6 to 10 homes could pay a commuted sum, either at or after completion of the development;
(3) redevelopment of a vacant building, or its demolition for redevelopment, would give rise to a credit (calculated in terms of floorspace) that could be off-set against any affordable housing contribution.
Two Local Planning Authorities were so concerned about the implications of this policy that they challenged it in the High Court. The two councils won in the High Court in July 2015, and secured the quashing of the new policy. However, the Court of Appeal last week handed down its decision on the appeal by the Secretary of State against the quashing order.
Therefore, the emboldened policy outlined above will be back in play (if there is not an appeal to the Supreme Court)! Good news for c2c Planning Consultants who are working on securing planning permission for smaller sites!