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Viability assessments for planning applications

Section 106 Planning Obligations – Viability Assessment Procedure & Guidance Notes

Where an applicant indicates that they are unable to provide the full affordable housing requirement or other planning obligations on viability grounds, they will need to submit a detailed financial assessment of the proposed development.

Where an applicant considers that they will need to submit a viability assessment as part of their planning application, they should enter into pre-application discussions with the Council prior to the submission of a planning application. As part of these discussions, where appropriate, the Planning Officer will offer the applicant the opportunity for their completed viability assessment to be submitted and reviewed as part of the planning application by either:

  1. Neath Port Talbot Council (NPTC) Valuation Officer; or
  2. An independent valuation expert from the Valuation Office

The final decision of whether the assessment is referred to either the Council’s Valuation Officer or to the Valuation Office is entirely at the discretion of the Local Planning Authority and the Council’s Head of Property and Regeneration.

For more information, please read the Council’s Viability Assessment Procedure Note.

The viability appraisal should be provided using the Council’s Development Viability Model (DVM), although the Council will accept viability appraisals submitted using other residual valuation models using a recognised methodology that accords with the latest RICS guidance for assessing the viability of residential developments.

Development viability model (DVM)

The Council has worked in partnership with other Council’s in the Mid and South West Wales regions, alongside town planning and development consultants Burrows-Hutchinson Ltd., to establish the DVM assessment tool. The DVM has been created as a comprehensive, user-friendly model that can be used by site proposers and decision makers for the purpose of assessing the financial viability of a development proposal.

The DVM is a ‘site-specific’ appraisal tool that has been produced to work with Microsoft Excel for Office 365, running on Microsoft Windows. Each copy of the model that is issued by the Council will be ‘locked’ to relate to a specific development site. The same copy of the model can, however, be re-used to assess more than one proposed scenario for development of that specific site.

Applicants using the Council’s Valuation Officer Service will be provided with a copy of the DVM following payment in full of the following fees:

Type of Scheme Fee
3 to 10 residential units £695
11 to 20 residential units £895
21 to 50 residential units £1,195
51+ residential units £ by agreement depending on size/ complexity
Retail/ commercial/ industrial development, net increase in floorspace of 1,000sqm or more £ by agreement depending on size/ complexity (but not less than £1,195)

Applicants submitting their viability appraisals directly to the Valuation Office will be charged £50 for a copy of the DVM prior to the release of the model to cover the administrative processing of the model.

Each copy of the DVM incorporates a “Quick Guide” and “Help Notes” are also incorporated into the model. The Council will also provide a detailed ‘DVM – User Guide’ to those who have purchased the model. A series of ‘how to’ videos have also been produced:

  1. Introduction to the DVM for Planning
  2. Resi Overview
  3. Resi Elements
  4. Costs
  5. Appraisal and Cashflow

Guidance on how to enter into pre-application discussions is provided on the Council’s Pre-application Enquiries webpage.

For further advice regarding the Council’s pre-application service, and to obtain a site-specific copy of the DVM, please contact the Council’s Planning Team:

Planning Team
(01639) 686736 (01639) 686736 voice +441639686736
(01639) 686746 (01639) 686746 voice +441639686746