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Further practice guidance on using Section 106 agreements to secure affordable housing during the economic downturn

The economic downturn has raised serious questions about the delivery of housing targets and the capacity of the planning system to deliver affordable housing. The Welsh Assembly Government wished to provide further guidance on the use of S106 agreements to secure affordable housing during the downturn.

This project built on the work undertaken by the Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research and Three Dragons, Delivering Affordable Housing using Section 106 Agreements: Practice Guidance (2008). However, after this was published, the economic downturn raised serious questions about the delivery of housing targets and the capacity of the planning system to deliver affordable housing. Economic conditions were leading to revisions to S106 agreements, including the affordable housing element. People were also beginning to look at new ways to structure agreements to address the recession while retaining the planning obligations. The Assembly Government therefore wished to provide further guidance on the use of S106 agreements to secure affordable housing during the downturn. In particular, it wished to explore mechanisms that could be used to ensure that affordable housing contributions are not significantly reduced, particularly in the longer term. There was a clear tension between allowing reduced S106 contributions in the short term in order to ensure that developments go ahead, and the risk that the developer will bank or extend planning permission until the market improves, when the reduced contributions would not longer be justified. Guidance was needed to assist local planning authorities (LPAs) to assess viability and deliverability over the longer term and balance this with policy requirements.

CCHPR Contact

Funder

Welsh Assembly

Project Start Date

1st June 2009