In exceptional circumstances, a financial contribution (commuted payment) towards off-site affordable housing may be agreed in accordance with Appendix 2 of the Affordable Housing Supplementary Planning Document 2012.
In May 2016 the Government published revisions to the National Planning Practice Guidance (NPPG) following a Court of Appeal decision, on 11 May 2016, regarding affordable housing contributions for small housing sites. In addition, a 'Vacant Building Credit' is also available to developers to incentivise them to bring vacant buildings back into use. This applies where vacant buildings are proposed to be brought back into lawful use or demolished and redeveloped but does not apply to buildings which have been abandoned. As a result of these changes, we have produced an advice note on how we will consider and apply Vacant Building Credit which was approved by the Planning Committees in September 2018.
Development of new housing within the 13km ‘zone of influence’ of European designated sites is likely to have a significant effect upon the interest features of the designated sites through increased recreational pressure, as set out in the emerging Suffolk Recreational Disturbance Avoidance and Mitigation Strategy (RAMS). New housing within these areas will be required to mitigate the effects of the development though Section 106 planning obligations. If there are no other S106 obligations for the development, the owner of the land will be required to submit a unilateral undertaking to secure the payment.
Other requirements will be site specific and may include specific highway improvements, provision of a school (on very large developments) or restricting the use of a development (e.g. live/work restrictions etc). These may be identified during pre-application discussions or during the consultation period of the planning application.
Since August 2013, off site open space improvements are funded through the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL), however contributions from applications approved prior to the introduction of CIL are still payable or awaiting spend.
Affordable Housing Contributions are spent on providing affordable housing, which may include building new affordable housing, bringing empty homes back into use for affordable housing or buying back market housing for use as affordable housing. Contributions will generally be spent in the area of the development where possible.
Other contributions will be specific to the development and will be spent in accordance with the Section 106 Agreement.