I am grateful to David Elvin QC for drawing my attention to and exchanging a few thoughts on this Southwark Council report. This is another authority trying to fill in the gaps by answering some critical questions for themselves - but accepting the reality of the impact of the policy and the fact that local adopted policy must give way where VBC applies.
What I found interesting was that although Southwark agree that the purpose (or one of them) of the policy is to link with CIL, they outcome they seek is to ensure that floorspace cannot be used for VBC as well as set off against CIL. I had concluded from the various ministerial statements that the idea was to allow both in appropriate circumstances and that VBC is to be consistent with CIL Regulation 40. Plus they seem to be saying vacancy (as they define it) must be demonstrated at the time planning permission is applied for and don’t allow for vacant buildings to be demolished for good planning reasons after that. The way VBC should apply e.g. in the context of phased developments (where vacancy and demolition may also be phased) is to allow for vacancy to be established later and this is consistent with CIL.
No doubt we'll see more of these examples - please send me any you see.