The Government has today published changes to the National Planning Practice Guidance on the contributions developers make on small sites to affordable housing and tariff-style planning obligations. The change in the threshold for the requirement for S106 agreements is:
- Contributions should not be sought from developments of 10 units or less and which have a maximum floorspace of 1000 square metres.
- In designated rural areas local authorities may apply a lower threshold of 5 units or less. In addition in these rural areas, where contributions are sought for schemes of 6 to 10 units, this should be in the form of a cash payment commuted until after the completion of the development.
This comes into force today, and while it is ‘Government Guidance’ we understand that LPAs will be required to comply with the Guidance. For some local authorities with very low affordable housing requirement thresholds (specifically those with an AH policy where the threshold is one additional dwelling), this will mean that small scale house building will once again be a viable option.