Wealden has been working with developers for the past two and a half years to unblock stalled developments, by negotiating s106 agreements on a viability basis. To do this, Wealden enables developers to pay for an independent viability assessment. This has been taken up by many developers and has allowed 20 + small to large schemes progress.
Wealden has renegotiated on:
- The level of affordable housing
- The mix of affordable housing
- Periphery requirements, for example library contributions and early learning contributions
- Highways infrastructure, for example by allowing the Highways Agency
It also allowed developers to use a viability assessment during initial negotiations, with a view to preventing stalled developments. Any application to re-negotiate goes back to the planning committee.
Wealden has also brought forward affordable housing by re-evaluating where houses are positioned within a site. For example, although as standard the affordable housing is scattered through a development, Wealden has sometimes relaxed this requirement in order for development to go ahead.
Hellingly Hospital involved redevelopment of brownfield hospital site for residential development and associated uses, local community facilities, commercial floorspace and Community Park. Outline planning permission was granted on 17 November 2006 and Reserved Matters pursuant to outline planning approval on 19 February 2009.
The Council renegotiated amendments to trigger points for financial contributions to delay up front costs to developer; and deletion of financial contributions towards the acquisition of land for primary and secondary schools and provision of additional secondary school places in July 2011.
Outcome and impact
This has provided 400 homes in total. Phase 4 of the site is currently under construction.
Kelvin Williams, Head of Planning
Tel: 01323 443322