Thetford Urban Extension Section 106 Negotiation
The planned 5,000 unit Sustainable Urban Extension to Thetford, Norfolk was the biggest planning application ever submitted to Breckland Council. The site is allocated for housing in the Council’s Local Plan and there is broad support for the principle of development. However the developer (as part of their application) submitted a detailed financial appraisal and report which detailed their view that 40% policy levels of affordable housing was not deliverable.
The client required a robust assessment of this evidence and negotiation advice relating to the affordable housing provisions in the Section 106 agreement.
Cushman & Wakefield undertook detailed analysis and reporting on the viability of the £1billion+ GDV scheme through:
- Detailed review of both the structure and contents of the applicant’s financial model; this included stress testing of the model and the addition of mechanisms to sensitise a number of key inputs
- Testing value and cost growth scenarios
- Assessment of the appropriateness of input build costs within the appraisal through our specialist building surveyors
- Direct negotiations and discussions with the applicant in relation to the specifics of their viability assessment
- Meeting with the applicant’s professional advisors to review both cost and value inputs
- Reviewing different phasing options for affordable housing to maximise provision
- Reviewing and advising in relation to case law on Benchmark Land Values
- Advising the client in terms of appropriate review mechanisms for the Section 106
- Negotiated an uplift from the initial proposal of affordable housing in the first phase of the scheme
- Established a robust review mechanism for future phases to allow for an increase in affordable provision should market conditions improve
- Advised the client through the whole process including a public planning committee