How does the Council deal with Viability Assessments submitted at application or pre-application stage?
In response to a Financial Viability Statement being submitted by a planning applicant as part of an application or a potential developer at the pre-application stage, the Council will commission District Valuers to carry out an independent assessment. This work is undertaken at the applicants cost and the money for the initial response must be provided to the Council, before any work is undertaken. The Council will then pay District Valuers, who can only work for the public sector, direct. The scale of fees will be advised and agreed before work commences.
Any supplementary work would be charged for at an hourly rate and would only be undertaken if seen relevant by the Council following confirmation from the Applicant that they will pay the additional fees. These fees are paid at the completion of the exercise but the hourly rates will be identified before work commences.
Prior to any work being undertaken it is crucial that sufficient information is available. The information will comprise a completed proforma Appendix One together with all the supporting documents and plans as set out in Appendix Two. All this must be provided to the Council prior to any work being undertaken. The Council will then forward it on to District Valuers. It is important to note that applicants cannot deal directly with District Valuers and that any such approaches are made via the Council.
District Valuers will provide a draft report which will be sent to the applicants in advance of publication to allow them to check for factual errors. At this time, and if the Council's Case Officer agrees it is relevant, additional discussions can take place involving District Valuers post confirmation that the additional fees will be paid. The report, any notes of meeting or relevant conversations regarding an application (not a pre application) will be made available in full on the Council's website once the response is finalised.
Please note the Council publish all viability statements submitted in respect of planning applications, the District Valuers response and any relevant correspondence in full on the website. This is because it considers it essential that such matters are dealt with in an open and transparent manner so that those interested in any proposal are aware of all the facts and the Members of the Planning Development Control Committee can take the submitted information on board when they consider the proposal.