The DCLG is consulting on proposals to speed up s.106 negotiations (see our Plan-it Law blog for further information).
The consultation particularly refers to the perceived issue of student housing developers being deterred by the imposition of affordable housing contributions on their schemes.
It is well documented that, although the UK student housing sector is performing strongly and attracting significant inflows of investment capital, nonetheless it remains structurally undersupplied with new beds. Constraints on development not only prevent the market functioning properly, they also limit the positive local benefits such developments can offer, for instance by freeing up much needed town and city centre housing and increasing Council Tax revenues. Encouragingly, the consultation suggests a genuine desire on the Government’s part to focus on and address impediments to development such as s.106 affordable housing contributions. In our experience however, a more common complaint levelled by developers is the imposition of CIL, which bites harder on student housing schemes than for other forms of residential development, and materially undermines the ‘bottom line’. However, we would be keen to hear your views on the subject- have you had experience of s.106 affordable housing contributions on new student housing projects? What do you see as the principal bars to the supply of new beds to the sector?
The deadline for responses to the consultation is 19 March so please do let us have any thoughts before then.