Yorvik Homes, Northallerton
Yorvik Homes was unable to provide a policy compliant affordable offer due to site viability, and as a result a reduced offer of 4 no. affordable units (rented/shared ownership) was offered to the Council (24% provision), supported by a viability study prepared by GNEC. The application was refused on the basis that the Council was of the view that the profit level on the affordable units should be much lower (as low as 6%) than the market units.
An appeal was lodged by P+S which also included an additional affordable offer of 7 no. discount market sale units (30% off market prices) and a commuted sum of £60,000. This offer would have delivered 40% affordable provision and was made in response to the revised definition of affordable housing in the NPPF.
The appeal was allowed on the basis that the Inspector accepted the viability case for the reduced rented/shared ownership affordable offer, but he did not accept the discount market sale offer. He concluded that due to the high purchase costs of homes the level of discount would still not meet a genuine affordable need. The decision demonstrates that notwithstanding the revised definition of affordable housing in the NPPF, local house prices and local need should be considered carefully when deciding whether to offer discount market sale housing.