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Planning obligations and viability assessment

Policies of Babergh and Mid Suffolk depending on the location and scale of development will often require the securing of planning obligations and community infrastructure levy (CIL).  For example affordable housing provision may be required in a large housing scheme.  A development may have specific impacts that need to be mitigated and the proposed mitigation needs to be secured as a legal obligation. 

The National Planning Policy Framework says that plans should be deliverable and that the sites and scale of development identified in the plan should not be subject to such a scale of obligations and policy burdens that their ability to be developed is threatened.  

Most applications do not normally require an assessment of viability.  However viability can be important where planning obligations or other costs are being introduced.  In these cases decisions must be underpinned by an understanding of viability, ensuring realistic decisions are made to support development and promote economic growth.   

There is no standard answer to questions of viability, nor is there a single approach for assessing viability.   Instead it is advised that early pre application engagement is made on this matter if it is likely to be an issue that needs detailed assessment. 

Also see the Council’s CIL section for related advice