We currently act for a wide range of clients in respect of viability, including private landowners, land promotion companies, housebuilders and trusts.
In addition to land agreements we also negotiate Section 106 Agreements for either landowners or developers. The Section 106 is a legally binding document that secures contributions from the development for either the Local Authority or the County Council to assist in delivering important infrastructure to support the development. Such contributions will fund education, public open space, transport, highways, community facilities, affordable housing etc. On large schemes these costs can be significant and could be the difference between making the site financially viable or not.
Payments will be linked to development triggers or timescales and therefore a full understanding of the viability and cashflow will be important to ensure the payments can be made without compromising the viability of the overall scheme
All landowners have to sign up to the Section 106 Agreement but the promotion agreement or option will ensure that ultimately, the housebuilder will be liable for the costs will will have been accounted for in determining the market value.
Local Authorities will often use the District Valuer to negotiate Section 106 Agreements on their behalf, which can add delay to the process so negotiation is essential to ensure planning permission is issued in a timely manner, thus allowing land to then be sold under the promotion or acquired under the option to realise its value.
With the introduction of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) in many of the Local Authority areas in England and Wales, we are seeing viability being constrained in many areas as this non-negotiable charge on new residential development takes hold. Whilst some Local Authorities have already adopted their CIL Charging Schedules, there is still a big opportunity to influence the draft Charging Schedules in the remaining Local Authority areas that are currently holding consultations. Hawksmoor can provide representations on your behalf to help ensure that CIL is not set at unviable levels so as not to prejudice future development on your land.
We can provide the following services, although we always tailor our advice and service according to the client's objectives:
- Development consultancy and development appraisals
- Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Landowner/Developer Representations
- S106/Planning viability testing and negotiations - we have successfully negotiated affordable housing review mechanisms on multi-phased developments to allow schemes to adapt to changing market conditions and ensure delivery of housing numbers
- Expert Witness.
We have the use of Argus Developer Software to cashflow development appraisals and produce sensitivity analysis. Argus is recognised as being one of the industry leading software packages in the field of development viability.