The Saving: £155,000
The Location: The Croft Public House, Hythe, Southampton
The client acquired the site of the former Croft Public House in Hythe, Southampton, together with the land situated towards the rear or the pub. Soon after acquiring the site, the client converted the former pub into a Tesco Metro and subsequently applied for planning permission to develop 9 houses on the remaining land behind the new commercial space.
In 2012, planning permission to develop the land was granted, but the Local Authority requested that the client provide 3 units of affordable housing and a single payment of £37,000.
To challenge the current s106 requirement, the client approached s106 Affordable Housing to undertake a viability study to determine whether the request from the Local Authority was financially viable. Our findings demonstrated the site was unable to support the weight of the planning obligations, so a variation planning application was submitted under the s106BC regulations.
The variation planning application was later refused by the New Forest District Council, who undertook a viability assessment in-house. Their findings stated that because the site contained a former pub garden, it had no existing use value. s106 Affordable Housing argued their findings on behalf of the client, highlighting that because it is within the settlement boundary and there is a presumption in favour of development, the site has an existing market value based on what a developer would pay on an unconditional basis without planning.
To further challenge the findings revealed by the New Forest District Council, an appeal was lodged and statement of evidence submitted. The case was considered at an informal hearing where s106 Affordable Housing represented the client. After reviewing our findings, the Inspector agreed that the single payment of £37,000 should be removed and the affordable housing requirement reduced from 3 units to 1, saving the client approximately £155,000.