DEVELOPERS IN SOUTHWARK MUST DELIVER 35 PER CENT AFFORDABLE HOUSING
Developers of all major sites in Southwark must deliver 35 per cent affordable housing or publish a viability assessment setting out why they cannot achieve this, the council has announced.
In a supplementary planning document (SPD), which will embed the new requirement in Southwark’s planning guidance, the council sets out its plans to make developers’ plans transparent and open to public scrutiny. Councils across London are currently looking for ways to respond to public criticism regarding development deals that are perceived to happen behind closed doors.
Southwark’s draft plan states that a full viability appraisal will be required for all proposed developments which do not meet the council’s affordable housing policy requirements.
Cabinet member for regeneration and new homes Cllr Mark Williams said: “We know the public has had concerns about the way developments are negotiated, and we promised that we would find a way to put all this information in the public domain.
“We know developers don’t want to share this information for commercial reasons, but we want our residents to see the workings and understand that we do all we can to get the best deal for Southwark.
“We think we’ve found a great way forward – if developers don’t want to face this public scrutiny then they will have to commit to 35 per cent affordable housing from the outset. “It’s a win-win for the people of Southwark.”
The draft development viability SPD is now available for comment on the council’s website as part of a 12 week consultation. Once all the responses have been received, and any amendments made, the council hopes to adopt the SPD into planning policy from March 2016.
The consultation documents are available at southwark.gov.uk. (Source: Southwark council press release)