Affordable housing

Policy CS40 of the Core Strategy sets out the broad principles and aims in relation to securing affordable housing through residential development. We adopted the Core Strategy document of the Sheffield Plan on 4 March 2009. 

Developer contributions

Guideline GAH2 of the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and Planning Obligations Supplementary Planning Document (SPD) sets out the expected developer contributions for the city’s 12 Affordable Housing Market Areas. The expected developer contribution towards affordable housing provision varies between 0% and 30%, depending on which Affordable Housing Market Area the site is in. 

Creating an Affordable Housing Statement 

Applicants will be required to submit an Affordable Housing Statement which sets out how the affordable housing requirements set out in Core Strategy Policy CS40 and the CIL and Planning Obligations SPD (2015) will be met.

The absence of a required Affordable Housing Statement will render a planning application invalid. A template for an Affordable Housing Statement is available to download, as well as a map showing the city’s 12 Affordable Housing Market Areas.

The Council will require First Homes to be provided as part of an Affordable Housing contribution. A Written Ministerial Statement and update to the Planning Practice Guidance were issued on the 24 May 2021 (see Supporting information section). The First Homes requirement came into effect on 28 June 2021. From this date, a home meeting the criteria for First Homes will also be considered to meet the definition of ‘affordable housing’ for planning purposes. First Homes are the government’s preferred discounted market tenure and should account for at least 25% of all affordable housing units delivered by developers through planning obligations.

The Council will seek a financial contribution from the developer to administer the First Homes scheme, secured in the S106 agreement.

Applicants are strongly advised to contact our Housing Strategy and Policy team prior to submitting an application. They will advise on housing demand, need and affordable housing. They can also provide advice on the size, type and tenure of the affordable housing that is needed in the area, and advice on which local housing association partners would be suitable. 

Reducing the contribution

The expected developer contribution towards affordable housing provision may be reduced if it would make the development economically unviable. Where the developer considers that they cannot meet the full affordable housing contribution, agreement will need to be reached on a viable level of provision. 

In these circumstances, the applicant will be asked to provide a full financial appraisal which includes a full breakdown of development costs. This will be appraised by an independent provider approved by us, at the applicant's expense. Independent appraisals will normally be undertaken by CP Viability Ltd, unless a conflict of interest is identified, or this provider does not have sufficient capacity to undertake the assessment. In either of these circumstances, the appraisal will be undertaken by Andrew Golland Associates.

If the applicant is unable to make the full contribution towards affordable housing, the following process will apply.


The applicant will submit a full financial appraisal to CP Viability with a covering letter. This should include the following information:

  • scheme drawings, layouts, brief specifications and house/building sizes
  • anticipated sale prices or lease rents with evidence of the values of similar schemes in the locality
  • land cost and fees
  • build costs of the houses/units and site infrastructure supported by independent quantity surveyor estimates
  • cost of 'abnormals', if any, with supporting reports and independent estimates
  • design and project management fees, planning and building regulation fees
  • cost of geotechnical and environmental surveys together with a summary of the findings
  • interim/development finance calculation with details of the loan facility from the funder

These should be emailed to at CP Viability. 

The applicant will then submit an Affordable Housing Statement and the full financial appraisal to the Council, along with a copy of the covering letter sent to CP Viability. All of these documents are required to validate the application. 

The applicant will then make an upfront payment to the Planning Service before CP Viability will commence an assessment of the appraisal. To avoid delay, payment can be arranged over the phone (0114 273 4218), by BACS transfer or direct debit. 

An invoice can be sent if preferred, but it can take up to 5 weeks before payment is finally cleared, so should be requested during pre-application discussions to avoid delaying the application process. Failure to make this payment promptly could result in the scheme being refused for insufficient information; if the development appraisal cannot be assessed in time, the Council will have insufficient information to accept the Development Appraisal.  

The scale of charges for an appraisal to be undertaken by CP Viability is as follows:

  • up to 100 dwellings - £2,340
  • 100 or more dwellings - £2,640
  • for a more complex case a bespoke fee may be necessary, to be agreed on a case by case basis with the Council

The above costs include a charge by the Council of £200 per application, to cover the administration of the application with regard to this process, and the time spent by the Council’s Affordable Housing Planning Officer to advise case officers and assist in discussions.

Should the above timeframes not be adhered to and an alternative timescale has not been formally agreed, then the applicant can expect an unfavourable outcome, owing to their failure to agree an appropriate affordable housing contribution. To minimise this risk, you are advised to request pre-application discussions in advance of submitting your application, to agree how your viability case can be processed in a timely manner, with all the necessary information supplied.

The contribution will be waived if, when calculated, it would amount to less than £2,000.

Please note that in line with the Government’s National Planning Practice Guidance on Viability, as of Monday 4 March 2019, both the applicant and CP Viability’s appraisals will be published online as part of the planning application.

Contact Planning Policy Enquiries

Strategic Planning
Howden House
1 Union Street
S1 2SH

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