New planning document sheds light on the process of development viability

Following two public consultations, we have launched a Development Viability Supplementary Planning Document to implement a standardised approach, increase transparency and ensure planning obligations are being met.

Tower Hamlets is the fastest growing Borough in the country. One of the biggest challenges we face is ensuring that growth works for local people and the demand for delivering genuine affordable housing is met. Development viability is a financial exercise undertaken to assess the level of planning obligations (e.g. affordable housing) a particular development scheme can potentially deliver.

In order to help meet this challenge, we have adopted the Development Viability Supplementary Planning Document. This aims to provide greater clarity to both applicants and the general public and ensures that the principles of sustainable development are at the forefront of decision-making in the borough.

Importantly, this document will also allow us to be more transparent, making sure that viability submissions will generally be made publicly available alongside other planning documents, allowing proposals to be properly scrutinised by the public.

John Biggs, Mayor of Tower Hamlets said: ‘’Residents in Tower Hamlets rightly expect transparency and this document allows for full scrutiny of  development deals. What I have set out will shine a light on every part of this process.”

I pledged that my administration would be more transparent and this delivers on that as it opens up the assessments on the viability of planning applications to public scrutiny’’.

Councillor Rachel Blake, Cabinet Member for Strategic Development & Waste said: “Decent housing is perhaps the root of a great start in life. Having more affordable homes in Tower Hamlets creates a place where people from all backgrounds can live as friends and neighbours. I am confident that the new Development Viability SPD will help the Council secure more affordable homes for our community.”

The Development Viability SPD was adopted on the 2 October 2017. For further information please see www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/viability 

The Development Viability SPD and supporting documents, including reports relating to the consultations undertaken, can be found on the Councils website: www.towerhamlets.gov.uk/viability.

These documents are also available to view at the following locations:

  • London Borough of Tower Hamlets Town Hall - Mulberry Place, 5 Clove Crescent, London E14 2BG
  • Idea Store Bow, 1 Gladstone Place, Roman Road, Bow, London E3 5ES
  • Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road London E1 1BU
  • Idea Store Watney Market, 260 Commercial Road, London E1 2FB
  • Idea Store Canary Wharf, Churchill Place, London E14 5RB
  • Idea Store Chrisp Street, 1 Vesey Path East India Dock Road, London E14 6BT
  • Bethnal Green Library, Cambridge Heath Road, London E2 0HL
  • Cubitt Town Library, Strattondale Street, London E14 3HG 
Posted on Thursday 12th October 2017