Small site homebuilding initiative frequently asked questions

How much will the Council pay for the completed new build homes?

The Council will agree fixed purchase prices with homebuilders on a site-by-site basis. 

What is your specification?

The Council will only agree to purchase homes that meet the minimum Nationally Described Space Standards (NDSS).

All schemes would need to be capable of obtaining planning permission, so all developers are referred to the Council’s Local Plan.

The Council will provide information on our minimum and enhanced expectations as well, as our basic housing specification for ongoing repairs and maintenance of properties following completion and handover.

Will the Council buy a number of homes from within a larger scheme?

Yes, provided the price and programme are acceptable. We are looking for certainty of price and timescales.

I know a suitable piece of land, but I haven’t agreed terms to buy it.  Will the Council wait?

The Council has ambitious housing targets so will prioritise projects that can be delivered soonest. However, we are very keen to see a pipeline of small sites come forward and, as there is no closing date for the initiative, the Council welcomes applications from developers on any current or future schemes.

Will I have to pay Section 106 costs?

The development will need to have regard for local planning policies and accordingly any S106 costs which may be triggered on some sites. The Council will only buy affordable homes.

Will I be able to engage with Planning Officers to find out if my scheme is likely to get planning permission?

Yes, the Council offer a paid pre-application service that all SME developers can access, further details can be found on our planning applications page.

The operation of the Council’s planning service will be consistent with normal practice and shortlisted schemes are not guaranteed to get planning permission. The Council’s role as the Local Planning Authority will remain totally independent of this initiative.

What contract will I enter into with the Council if my scheme is approved?

The Council has prepared a Development Agreement for this scheme. The Development Agreement will be provided to all developers whose schemes are approved.

The Council does not expect to agree any changes to this contract. There will be an opportunity for you to withdraw if you do not find the Development Agreement acceptable.

Will the Council pay any abortive costs I may incur in working up schemes that are ultimately not selected?

There are standard costs which a developer will incur when bringing forward any development.  As the Council is not obliged to accept any of the proposals put forward, these costs are incurred at your expense.

How do I submit my schemes?

Initially the Council would like to discuss any potential schemes directly with the developer. Following discussions, if the developer would like to progress, an Outline Proposal Form must be completed for an initial assessment. At a later stage, an Invitation to Submit Proposals (ISP) form will also be provided to the developer for completion. 

Is there someone I can speak to if have questions?

Yes, please ‘Register Your Interest’ by clicking on the link below and someone from the Council will contact you. To be fair to all our local developers, we will add to the list of FAQs if new issues arise.

Register your interest