Millions of pounds secured to deliver much-needed affordable homes

NewsUpdated: 22 May 2023Planning

Three Rivers District Council has gained millions of pounds from small housing developments in order to build much-needed affordable homes for local people.

The council has secured £2.9m from developer contributions, also known as Section 106, to enable the delivery of 55 affordable homes – with up to £2m in further contributions payable upon the implementation of current planning permissions.

It has also won 32 planning appeals against developers where an Independent Planning Inspectorate sided with the council’s initial decision to refuse the respective applications due to a lack of contributions towards affordable homes.

This is all thanks to the council’s CP4(e) (affordable housing) policy, which is in contradiction with the Government’s planning policy framework, known as the National Planning Policy Framework (NPPF), which advises that no financial contribution from developers should be sought for small schemes.

The District Council has been arguing since September 17 that its acute need for affordable homes outweighs this. The Government has conceded and allowed the council to apply the policy.

Deputy Council Leader and Planning Lead Member, Cllr Stephen Giles-Medhurst, said: “It is fantastic news that the policy has so far enabled the delivery of dozens of much-needed affordable homes for local people, who can continue to stay and work in the place they live and love.

“I am glad that the planning inspectorate has agreed with us that we are justified in going against the NPPF, not just once or twice, but 32 times and this is evident that our arguments were 100% correct.”