Most new affordable housing comes with S106 planning agreements that ensure developers contribute to the provision of affordable housing through the “planning gain” associated with development. Previous studies have shown that the S106 system works quite well in terms of providing affordable housing and in particular helps to fulfill the “mixed communities” agenda by providing affordable and market housing at the same sites. However, the signing of an S106 agreement is only the starting point. Not all planning permissions are established. Subsequent negotiations may change what has been delivered. However, little effort has been made to determine the extent to which the provision of affordable housing meets the expectations of building permits. The number of affordable housing units with a building permit has increased much steeper than the paid finishes of S106. This indicates that the system may not be able to provide the agreed level of affordable housing in a timely manner. This study aimed to assess the effectiveness of the supply phase in meeting affordable housing needs in England. On five sites, despite the building permit issued before the year 2000, the site was still under development at the end of 2005. These sites represent 576 of the 2,174 affordable housing units in the research database approved before the year 2000, but which is still incomplete at the end of 2005. This indicates that, although long delays between permits and finishes may only affect a small portion of sites, they often involve very large sites, which produce a significant portion of the total number of affordable housing units for which permission has been granted. Many LPAs now require that a declaration of affordable housing be filed with a construction application.
This is not the same as a profitability report. It is simply a calculation of the largest contribution to affordable housing, which may be required by adopted planning policies. We can make a low-cost statement while advising on whether it is worth establishing a subsequent profitability report in order to reduce or eliminate the amount of affordable housing you need to provide. . . .