Welcome news for developers of small sites.
Following the government’s successful appeal last week against the decision in the West Berkshire Council and Reading Borough Council case nearly a year ago (click here to go to our previous posting), the National Planning Practice Guidance will be amended again. It is expected to reintroduce the relevant provision exempting developments of 10 homes or fewer from affordable housing or Section 106 contributions.
Housing minister Brandon Lewis’ triumphant statement called the case “a total waste of taxpayers’ money” and said the judgment will restore common sense to the system and ensures that builders developing smaller sites don’t face costs that could render development unviable and stop them building any homes at all.
Whether the exemption will be reintroduced in its same form immediately, or with any changes, or whether the government will wait until West Berkshire and Reading have considered whether to appeal further remains to be seen. We will update you as soon as we have more news. It is certainly going to be hard for local authorities whose affordable housing supply was anticipated to come from small housing developments.