Financial Viability Assessments

We understand that every development site is different and can be faced with a number of challenges or unforeseen risks for the developer which need to be accounted for at the planning stage to ensure that the development is viable and deliverable and whether they can viably contribute to affordable housing, Section 106 and CIL requests.

Our viability appraisals take into consideration the specifics of each site, our client’s objectives and planning policy requirements in order to determine whether a scheme is viable. Where such requirements would render a scheme unviable, we have extensive knowledge in challenging policy thresholds particularly in respect of affordable housing and developer’s contributions to ensure that a development can come forward.

Our typical instruction would include the following scope of works:

  • Producing an appraisal using Argus Developer, a commercially available development package in widespread use throughout the development industry; 
  • Assessing the level of affordable housing that could be provided as part of a scheme;
  • Reviewing third party information provided to us such as cost plans produced by the client’s Quantity Surveyor and indicative sales values from local agents which will inform the inputs of our appraisal;
  • Undertaking extensive comparable research to ensure that our client’s submissions are robust;
  • Market research and reporting;
  • Sensitivity testing and analysis;
  • Review of any Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) Charges and indexation;
  • Consideration as to whether Vacant Building Credit apply;
  • Production of a report setting out our findings; and 
  • Direct negotiation with the Council and their appointed assessor to provide the best outcome for our clients.


Our recent projects include:

Pentagon Motors Site, Chatham
Penenden Heath Developments (PHD), based near Maidstone, can now get to work delivering 35 new homes on a site in Chatham after permission was granted by Medway Council. The former Pentagon Motors site on the New Cut Industrial Estate is surrounded by the Grade II* listed St John’s Church and the Tap ‘n Tin nightclub.
DHA undertook the viability assessment as part of the application alongside the development team. As a result, the council accepted that with constrained access at Waterfront Way and due to the high cost of the remediation there would be no Section 106 contributions required or affordable housing on the site. 
PHD can now proceed with the demolition of the existing commercial buildings, including the removal of underground storage tanks and infilled inspection pits.

For more information about this service contact: