Lambert Smith Hampton has been appointed by Bury council to undertake an Affordable Housing Viability Study.
The study will examine the economic viability of different development types and tenure mixes across a range of hypothetical sites within the borough, to enable the council to take a more informed view when setting policy through its Local Development Framework.
Until recently, planning policy guidance required developers to meet set targets for new affordable homes depending upon the local authority's needs. However, following house builders Persimmon, Millhouse Developments and Barratt's successful appeal against Blyth Valley Council, local authorities are now placing greater emphasis on economic viability when setting affordable housing targets within the LDF.
In undertaking the study, LSH's Manchester office will provide a robust evidence base in order to identify an appropriate level of developer contribution towards affordable housing in support of the council's LDF.
Crispian Logue at Bury council said: "Affordable housing is an important factor in maintaining sustainable communities that people want to live, work and invest in. In total, over 200 affordable units have been provided on sites within the borough since 2004."
Adam Mirley, senior surveyor in the planning, development and Urban Regeneration team at LSH's Manchester office, said: "The continued downturn in the economic climate, and its impact on the residential market and development industry nationally, means that our methodology needs to be robust, yet flexible enough to take account of the changing market conditions in order to meet the borough's shortage in affordable housing in the short, medium and long term."
Historically, 94% of the borough's accommodation was discounted market housing. The council is looking to redress this imbalance as part of the LDF.
LSH has started work on the study and aims to finish early in the New Year.