Section 106 Exemption Restored

by Andrew Hobbs
16th May 2016

Alongside the recently passed Housing and Planning Bill, self-builders have further cause for celebration as the Court of Appeal restores a government policy exempting building developments of 10 homes or fewer from Section 106 contributions to affordable housing.

Following a legal challenge by West Berkshire District Council and Reading Borough Council in July last year, The high court deemed the changes wrought in November 2014, exempting sites of ten properties or fewer from paying contributions towards affordable housing, unlawful.

Given that Section 106 exemption was originally predicted to save £15,000 per home, on average, the Court of Appeal’s ruling will undoubtedly have a significant impact on those currently considering the financial viability of a self-build project.

Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis said: “Today’s judgment by the Court of Appeal restores common sense to the system, and ensures that those builders developing smaller sites – including self-builders – don’t face costs that could stop them from building any homes at all.”

In reference to the appeals success, Brian Berry, Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders (FMB), said: “It will make the economics of small scale development that much easier and should increase the use of small sites in sustainable locations for the delivery of new homes.”

He went on: “Nearly one-in-two small and medium sized enterprises know of sites they would otherwise be interested in developing, but which they believe would be unviable because of the likely combination of Section 106 and CIL charges.”

The policy’s reinstatement will tackle the disproportionate burden of developer contributions on custom and self-builders.

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