Fringe Box



Letter: I Am Worried About the Impact of Proposed Planning Policy

Published on: 27 May, 2017
Updated on: 27 May, 2017

From David Croft

In response to James Wild’s letter: Land Values and the Local Plan, I am worried about Guildford’s emerging policy on affordable homes contributions and CIL.

I work with small developers and we carry out appraisals on small sites. The emerging policy is quite different from that which has existed for many years and, as far as we can tell, is aimed at getting the maximum out of the large and small developer and landowner alike.

The large national house builders won’t worry too much about this as the landowners of the strategic sites still stand to make huge sums. But smaller developers, who may in the past have made his living by knocking down one old decrepit house on a half acre plot to build two new ones, will have to look elsewhere for their business as those deals just won’t stack up anymore. The site size threshold of 0.17 ha or 0.42 acre means you would have to give up one of those homes as affordable (or 40%).

Over the last ten years, the small developer/builder has been squeezed out of the business due to the high costs associated with planning regulation and policies like that proposed by Guildford will only worsen matters for them.

Central government recognises the problem of the squeeze on the small/medium business, and say they need to do more to help them but, at the same time, push for ever larger strategic garden cities.

Of course, the types of homes built by the national developers are pretty standard timber frame box type developments – not pretty to look at and characterless. The type of houses built by the smaller developers/builders are often of a higher quality, better looking and traditionally built with masonry walls. There will be far less of these when this plan is adopted.

In response to Jules Cranwell’s comment in which he says there are big incentives (New Homes Bonus, CIL payments and more affordable homes to meet targets) for councils to push for development let’s not forget that local communities will also benefit from 25% of the CIL collected if they have an adopted Neighbourhood Plan in place.


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