The new guidance note published by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) will apply, along with mandatory requirements, when carrying out viability appraisals for planning purposes. It is intended to guide not just professionals working in planning and development, but also members of the public. It builds upon the ‘authoritative requirements’ in the National Planning Policy Framework [“NPPF”] adopted in 2019 and National Planning Practice Guidance [“NPPG”]. It sets out best practice and supplements the RICS professional statement ‘financial viability in planning: conduct and reporting’.
Phillippa Gatehouse, Planning Assistant at Chapman Lily Planning explained: ‘The updated guidance note has been a long time coming, with lead author Neil Crosby outlining the difficulties in drafting the guidance. There are a number of conflicting opinions about the way viability assessments should be undertaken and the range of factors that can be considered. The guidance places emphasis on ‘speed’ and ‘transparency’, trying to achieve a balance that ensures that landowners are incentivised to bring land forward, whilst not inflated to an extent where local plan objectives are compromised. In Chapman Lily Planning’s experience it is important to engage with whole plan viability assessments prepared as part of the Local Plan process. These are often overlooked but it is important to check that there are typologies that reflect the types of site within the locality and that the underpinning data on build costs and sales values is representative’.
For more information about the changes or how to consider viability in planning please contact Chapman Lily Planning.