A major UK housebuilder submitted a planning application for the conversion of a Grade ll listed former laboratory and manufacturing premises located in Welwyn Garden City extending to circa 33,000 sq ft to provide 34 flats. Planning policy required 30% of the flats to be provided as affordable housing units split 70:30 between rented and immediate provision.
We liaised with the client’s specialist cost consultants and provided detailed viability evidence that demonstrated that the cost of conversion was such that a policy compliant scheme was not viable. In addition we also provided valuation evidence in respect of the Threshold Land Value.
Following negotiations with the Local Planning Authority’s agent planning permission was granted on the basis of nil affordable housing subject to the completion of a Section 106 Agreement incorporating a viability review mechanism for the calculation of a potential off-site payment. Negotiations are currently underway in respect of the appropriate formula and trigger date.