Developers in Croydon will now have the viability appraisal submitted as part of their planning applications made public.
The reports are submitted to provide evidence of the developers’ capability to meet all planning requirements, including meeting the levels of affordable housing required by the council as the local planning authority. Previously applicants could request for their viability assessment to be kept confidential, but the report will now be published alongside the other planning documents submitted.
The publication of the appraisals on the council website will ensure greater transparency and accountability, by enabling members of the public to scrutinise viability reports and the associated implications for the delivery of affordable housing and other benefits. In these instances the publication of the appraisal will make the reasons behind the decision clear. The move is in line with the Mayor of London’s Supplementary Planning Guidance on Affordable Housing and Viability, which recommends that the information should be available for wider public scrutiny like all other elements of a planning application. If a developer wanted to keep their viability assessment confidential, they would have to prove the disclosure of the information would prove commercially sensitive.
Councillor Alison Butler, Deputy Leader and Cabinet Member for Homes, Regeneration and Planning, said: “This is good news for Croydon residents. The publishing of these appraisals will make the council’s work with developers much more transparent and enables the public to hold both parties to account. Most importantly it will also help ensure affordable housing, which is much needed in Croydon, is built.”