25 Jul 2018

The new revised National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF) was delivered and came into force on 24 July 2018. The Government's response to the consultation on the revised framework notes that it has made a number of important changes in response to the consultation which closed on 10 May.   

James Garbett, Managing Associate comments on the affordable housing provisions:

"The provisions and definitions relating to affordable housing remain largely unchanged from the March 2018 draft. The new definition retains the incorporation of Starter Homes, Discounted Market Sale Housing, and 'Other affordable routes to home ownership' as affordable housing, however express references to Social Rent and Affordable Rent tenures have been reinstated. As expected, the requirement to provide at least 10% affordable housing on all developments of ten or more homes is subject to an exemption for Build to Rent and Purpose Built Student Accommodation schemes, as well as other schemes to provide specialist accommodation. 

"The description of 'Other affordable routes to home ownership' has been partially tightened to require that 'low cost homes for sale' which meet the definition must be sold at a price equivalent to at least 20% below local market value. However much of this limb is likely to be open to interpretation by local planning authorities and developers pending the adoption of up to date local policies. For example, 'relevant equity loans' are not further defined, and there is no minimum period at which 'rent to buy' units must be let at an intermediate rent before being available for purchase. Importantly, there is no requirement for affordable housing provided under this limb to remain so in perpetuity unless public grant funding has been provided. 

"The new definition of 'Build to Rent' is unchanged from the March 2018 draft, and is descriptive rather than prescriptive. The new NPPF confirms that 'affordable housing for rent' delivered through Build to Rent schemes need not be managed by registered providers, and so there is likely to be an increased role for local planning authorities in the monitoring and enforcement of affordable housing delivered under this tenure. The detailed polices in the Mayor of London's 2017 Affordable Housing and Viability SPG are likely to remain the benchmark for LPAs controlling affordable housing delivered through Build to Rent schemes."