Horsham District Council
Local Plan Viability Assessment
The council required their draft policies in their new local plan to be tested for viability. Planning Practice Guidance (PPG) requires viability testing at this stage to ensure the total cumulative cost of all relevant policies will not undermine the deliverability of the plan. The testing was to reflect the planned growth in the district which included a range of uses; residential, elderly accommodation, build to rent, retail, offices and industrial. In addition, the council sought advice on the viability of the proposed strategic sites as they had specific site constraints.
Urbà with co-consultant’s AspinallVerdi have undertaken a detailed evidence base study to support the new local plan. Urbà and AspinallVerdi have:
Undertaken a property market analysis to inform the value inputs.
Advised on the appropriate typologies to test, based on analysis of the planned growth.
A review of the draft policies to assess those that would have an impact on viability, and reflected this in the assessment.
Assessed policy costs such as; affordable housing, carbon reduction, water efficiency, sustainability, bio diversity net gain and accessibility.
Assessed suitable benchmark land values, using the prescribed method in the PPG and RICS guidance of Existing Use Value plus Premium.
Created a bespoke MS Excel to test the viability of the typologies and sensitivity analysis was undertaken.
Consultations with the strategic site promoters via MS Teams.
Urbà has provided the client with a detailed viability report which provided clear recommendations of policy options. The report will form part of the council's evidence base for the new local plan.
London Borough of Newham
Employment Land Review
The council is reviewing its local plan and requires an Employment Land Review (ELR) as part of their evidence base documents. The purpose of the ELR is to inform which sites should be protected and allocated for employment uses or those sites released for alternative uses. In London, there is significant pressure for sites to be redeveloped for residential which is resulting in employment sites being lost.
Urbà has been instructed along with Stantec to undertake the study. Urbà is providing an analysis of the office, workspace, industrial and warehouse markets, in doing so, Urbà is analysing the quality of the current stock to meet occupier requirements and whether there were any gaps in the market. Furthermore, Urbà is assessing whether the rents achievable are sufficient to maintain the current stock and support new build development.
Urbà has found that despite the borough having a significant reservoir of existing industrial and warehouse units it is well occupied and demand outstripping supply. The borough is one of the few London boroughs that still has a significant level of existing industrial and warehouse accommodation, and due to the lack of supply in more central locations, it is important at a strategic level. Demand for industrial and warehouse space is from a variety of sectors including manufacturing, e-commerce and third party logistics for last-mile deliveries. The borough also has a proposal for multi-storey warehousing, which, if developed, will be the first of its type seen in close proximity to central London and will help meet the aspirations of the Greater London Authority (GLA) to use sites more intensely for industrial and warehouse uses.
During the new local plan period, the area of the borough which falls under the London Legacy Development Corporation (LLDC) will revert back to the authority’s control. This area has seen a significant amount of office development and attracted blue chip occupiers. Urbà’s assessment is considering whether the development opportunity around docks could also be developed for similar Grade A offices.