The new s106 agreement provides for "recession proofing"
Leeds City Council has been proactive in setting realistic amounts of affordable housing around the city, and has used its powers under s106 to unlock many large sites. In February 2011 the Council's Executive Board introduced an interim affordable housing policy to reflects the findings of an
Economic Viability Assessment which provided an up to date assessment of what affordable housing could be delivered in the current market. This policy significantly reduced the amount of affordable housing required in the vast majority of the city, which rendered many s106 renegotiations unnecessary, as the Council was already operating under market viable levels of affordable housing.
South Queen Street Mill was originally granted planning permission in August 2007, but development stalled and the planning permission expired.
The developers submitted a new request for planning permission in 2010. They paid for an independent viability assessment, as required by the Council, to show that it was not viable to provide affordable housing and a full greenspace contribution.
The Council agreed to a new s106 agreement, removing the affordable housing and reducing the greenspace element, in order that the development could progress. The new s106 agreement provides for "recession proofing", that is if the site is not substantially developed (50% of the flats substantially completed) within 2 years, a revised financial viability statement is to be resubmitted, and if the market has picked up, then some affordable housing (and even enhanced greenspace contribution) would be required.
This has allowed for delivery of 42 flats and two houses.
Temple point was initially refused planning permission as the s106 contribution did not meet the Council's requirement. After the rejection the Council met with the applicant and site owners to discuss the position. As a result a substantially improved offer of 85 per cent of the total was proposed.
The areas identified as priority by Ward Members were the full 15% affordable housing, primary and secondary education contributions and the provision of a toucan crossing. The Council believed that the negotiated contribution reflected these priorities.
This will bring forward 86 homes of family housing which can be delivered in the short term as the housebuilder wants to develop units on this site straight away.
Outcome and impact
- Delivery of 42 flats and two houses.
- 86 homes of family housing
Nasreen Yunis, Principal Planner
Tel: 0113 2478133