Viability assessment

Where an applicant seeks to reduce affordable housing or infrastructure contributions for viability reasons, the applicant will be required to provide a full open book financial appraisal and associated supporting information. This will be assessed by an independent viability consultant and a quantity surveyor at the applicants expense. Independent viability assessments are carried out by CP Viability Ltd, unless there is a conflict of interest, in which case and alternative consultant will be approved by the council.

The scale of charges for the independent viability assessment is as follows:

Scale of charges for independent viability assessment

Development

Fee

Up to 50 dwellings

£2,100 plus VAT

50 to  250 dwellings

£2,250 plus VAT

250 dwellings or more

£2,500 plus VAT

Mixed development (including 500 plus dwellings and employment and/or retail premises)

£2,750 plus VAT

Student accommodation

£2,750 plus VAT

In many cases, an independent quantity surveyor’s assessment of costs will also be required to support the viability assessment. In some cases, an engineer assessment may also be required to assess the extent and appropriateness of the engineering works. The costs associated with these pieces of work will be agreed with the applicant on a case by case basis.

The independent viability assessment and quantity surveyor's assessment will usually be commissioned once the layout, design and engineering works have been agreed and information is available with regard to the infrastructure contributions required. This will ensure that the viability assessment is carried out using the scheme which is likely to proceed to a decision. If further amendments or revisions to the applicants viability appraisal are submitted following the independent assessment, a further fee for an update will be required. Prior to the independent viability assessment the applicant will be required to confirm that they will pay the costs.

The above costs are fixed and under them CP Viability will:

  • Carry out a detailed review of the planning file and all background information (including the feasibility report, cost consultant reports and viability assessments)
  • Prepare a viability appraisal
  • Prepare a report, detailing their review of the applicant’s assessment, identified evidence, appraisal and conclusions/recommendations. The draft report will be issued to the applicant for their review and rebuttal but not made public at this stage
  • Respond via email to any reasonable post-report queries/challenges raised by the applicant
  • 1 post report Teams meeting with the council and applicant to discuss any queries to challenges

The final viability assessment will made publicly available in accordance with planning practice guidance, RICS guidance and the Environmental Information Regulations 2004.

Last updated: 25 October 2021