Manchester City Council

Manchester Council looks to improve transparency of the planning process

A consultation will begin this week around the Council’s planning application validation process with a view to improving transparency in the local planning procedure.

Local Validation Lists are the information required by a Local Planning Authority when a planning application is submitted, which allows it to be registered, assessed and determined.

Among key changes to Manchester local information requirements will be an Affordable Housing Statement and a public Viability Assessment to support new housing developments.

The former will provide an overview of the affordability ambitions for a new development and the latter will improve transparency around a scheme’s viability, and allow the public to scrutinise a developer’s requirement to proffer section 106 investment as part of their development.

Section 106 payments can be negotiated as part of the planning process that requires a developer to invest in the city mitigating harm from the development or to address policy issues. This could include funding towards affordable housing or infrastructure investment, such as public realm space or highways improvements in the city.

The consultation will run until 14 September. 

Cllr Angeliki Stogia, Manchester City Council’s executive member for environment, planning and transport, said:

 “We want the people of Manchester to have faith in the planning process so they know the decisions being made have been fully scrutinised and where possible, section 106 is being negotiated working with developers on larger developments.

“This consultation signals a new approach for developer contributions so that everyone who has an interest in the planning process is clear whether affordable housing contributions will underpin new development in the city.

“The move towards publication of viability assessments and affordable housing statements mark the first step in making the process more open and transparent bolstering our clear commitment to affordable housing through the planning process.”

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