A range of development support for Brentwood Borough Council.
We have assisted Brentwood Borough Council over a number of years, with a focus on helping the authority to deliver new affordable homes. Situated in southwest Essex, Brentwood is a busy and prosperous town with attractive surrounding conuntryside. That, and its convenience to London, creates considerable housing demand and pressure for development.
The local authority owns 2,500 homes and wanted to re-establish a programme of new housing production in a variety of tenures, mainly affordable.
Our involvement began at the strategic level, helping to assess Brentwood’s potential for new homes development, formulating a strategy for that activity and appraising the financial implications and funding approach.
We are now supporting Brentwood with specific aspects of the programme roll-out, including scheme appraisal and accessing Homes England grant. We have also provided training for a number of council personnel and are guiding the evolution of the operating model for new homes development including policies, processes and systems.
In addition to our main role assisting with the council’s own housing programme we also provide expert support to Brentwood on the delivery of affordable homes through the planning system. We undertake viability appraisals where applicants are making a case for reducing affordable housing planning obligations and we also provide guidance on the terms of Section 106 Agreements, especially in relation to viability reviews. This planning related function is on-going for ARK and means we have developed a substantial depth of knowledge of the residential market across Brentwood.
- helped the council to re-establish a successful programme of new homes development
- guided the council on the funding and financial dimensions of the programme and its impact on the HRA business plan
- supported the growth in the council’s skills and capacity to deliver its housing development aspirations
- analysed and tested many developer planning appications proposing fewer affordable homes than the policy expectation, optimising the number of affordable homes delivered.