The first step to our approach in any Whole Plan Viability assessment is to agree what we mean by viability and the means by which it is calculated. In essence, viability centres upon whether there is an alternative use for land that would produce a higher value for the landowner/developer than the proposed use.
Furthermore, it is likely that a landowner would seek a premium over existing use value. That is to say that simply matching an existing use value will not suffice.
A viability assessment comprises a series of land valuations that test a number of different development scenarios for viability. These scenarios would be both residential and non-residential. In order to establish viability, the exercise will establish the level of land value per hectare that will be the viability threshold for different potential land uses and then demonstrate the degree to which the cumulative impacts of emerging policies allow this threshold to be exceeded. Land values above this level would be considered viable, with those below unviable.
In conducting Whole Plan Viability Studies we adopt a holistic approach that allows us to be well-informed of the needs of the Council, the climate of local sales market values and (by extension) the initial parameters needed to complete the appraisals. Our conclusions will respond to the output requirements of the brief, whilst addressing other issues that would have arisen subsequently.