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Needs and Benefits Assessments

There are many types of Needs and Benefits Assessments in the planning process, and these can be complicated matters to address within a planning application. This Insight seeks to answer THREE FAQs on the different types of reports and how they can assist your scheme.

What are Needs and Benefits Assessments and what do they do?

The main purpose of a Needs and Benefits Assessments is to address the local need for a specific type of development and or the benefits which it could provide.

For example, if the Council has a specific need for affordable housing in an area, an Affordable Housing Needs Assessment can assist an applicant in demonstrating this to the Local Planning Authority (LPA) as part of their planning application. This is usually read together with a Planning Statement to demonstrate the positive contribution the development will have to the local area.

As such, there are many types of Needs and Benefits Assessments. The main types are:

  • Housing Needs Assessment

  • Housing Type Needs Assessments

  • Affordable Housing Needs Assessment

  • Affordability Statement

  • Economic Needs Assessment

  • Economic Benefits Assessment

  • Employment Needs Assessment

When would I require an Assessment?

The first stage would be to review the Council’s Development Plan policies. For example, if you are providing/removing an employment use at a site, the Council may require a report to address this matter within a planning application.

Often, it depends on the specific location and market at the time of submission. For example, if the Council has a specific need for a certain type of housing which has not been identified within their evidence base or carried through to the Development Plan policies.

Or, if you wish to emphasise the benefits of a proposal outside a general Planning Statement, such as showing the LPA how your proposed development will improve affordability in an area.

There are many reasons why a Needs or Benefits Assessment could be submitted with your planning application. If you have a specific scheme in mind, we are more than happy to discuss what type of report would be best placed to support your scheme.

How can Viable Placemaking help?

Viable Placemaking are a town planning consultancy with an expertise in development economics and viability. As such, we have a great amount of experience assisting applicants, developers, and fellow consultants with various economic matters relating to a prospective development, including providing expert Needs and Benefits Assessments to support a wider planning submission.

Viable Placemaking may also tailor a report to your scheme’s needs, so that we might best demonstrate the benefits to the LPA.

If you have any questions on which type of report may be appropriate to support your development, or the planning application process generally, please don’t hesitate to get in touch.


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