How can authorities improve their capacity to assess development viability?
The role and purpose of viability assessments in planning, and particularly as a tool in ensuring that planning obligations and affordable housing targets are achieved, remain a contentious and opaque area of practice. But Authority officers need to be able to interpret and challenge viability assessments in order to secure public benefits from future development.
Martha Dallyn and Belinda Greenwell drew together a suite of resources to understand and assess viability through their year-long placements at the London Boroughs of Enfield and Sutton (April 2019 - 2020). These are intended as support for Authority officers, and others, to engage with the complexities and terminologies of viability assessment.
This Practice Note sets out the context and background to the use of viability assessments. It is complemented by a series of explainer sheets, a presentation and a simple calculator educational tool to provide an introduction for practitioners who are unfamiliar with viability.