How to prepare a valid planning application

Other supporting documents for small schemes (1 - 9 new homes) only

Our planning policy requires any development which creates one or more homes to contribute to the provision of affordable housing in Southwark.

Where affordable housing cannot be provided on or off site, a payment in lieu is usually the most realistic and deliverable option. The financial contribution will go towards the provision of affordable housing in the borough. Unless affordable housing is being provided on site and is following the fast track policy, you will need to submit a financial viability appraisal with your application. The financial viability appraisal should be prepared in accordance with the Development Viability SPD.

You should also look at the general supporting documents, as some of those requirements will be relevant to your application. 

Draft Legal Agreement with title information 

What you need to do

When is it needed?

Why is it needed?

Further guidance

Review the draft legal agreement template (doc, 197kb) which will be completed to secure on-site affordable homes or a financial contribution towards the delivery of affordable homes in the borough.


Provide up to date title information (register and plan) for the red-line site with the draft agreement

Applications proposing nine homes or fewer. This includes:

  • new build homes (1-9 units)

  • subdivision of an existing home into two or more homes

  • change of use of a non-residential building to create one or more residential homes 


To demonstrate that planning policy requirements are being met for affordable housing


Relevant planning policy:

  • Southwark Plan 2022 policies SP1, P1

Refer to more information about Section 106 agreements


Refer to further information on Land Registry (external website)


Make sure you:

  • see Southwark Plan 2022 policy P1 for a detailed definition of a habitable room                

  • note that payment in lieu is required of £100,000 per affordable habitable room; this is based on 35% affordable housing provision of the proposed development calculated by habitable room

  • where on-site affordable housing provision is proposed, the applicant will need to confirm in writing that they have a Registered Provider who agreed to deliver the affordable homes

  • where on-site affordable housing is proposed, the provision will be rounded up to the nearest whole number for habitable rooms where required

  • meet the cost of the council’s legal fees for confirming and finalising the agreement, title and dealing with completion; this is charged at £250 an hour for non-GLA referable schemes. VAT is not payable

Viability Appraisal

Where the fast track route is being followed for on-site affordable housing delivery (60% in Aylesbury Action Area Core and 40% in the rest of the borough) with a policy compliant tenure mix, a viability appraisal is not required.

What you need to do

When is it needed?

Why is it needed?

Further guidance

Provide a detailed viability appraisal to include:

  • an executive summary outlining the key conclusions being drawn from the appraisal in plain English

  • a fully testable editable electronic or software model which explicitly shows the calculations and assumptions used in the planning application

You must pay for the review of the financial viability appraisal or provide a solicitor’s undertaking to pay.

All schemes proposing nine homes or fewer where the fast track route is not being followed.

To ensure a transparent and accurate assessment of the viability of the proposed scheme


Relevant planning policy:

  • Southwark Plan 2022 policies SP1, P1, IP3

Refer to the council's  Development Viability SPD

How do we define a habitable room?

A habitable room is a room in a house that has a window and is intended to be used for sleeping, living, cooking or dining. This is regardless of what it is actually used for. This definition excludes enclosed spaces such as bathrooms or toilet facilities, corridors, landings, hallways, lobbies, utility rooms or kitchens smaller than 11sqm. Any floor area where the ceiling height is less than 1.5m will not count as habitable floor space. 

Payment in lieu examples

Worked example 1

Development proposes 1 new 1 bed home on a previously developed site.

  • Habitable rooms = 3 (kitchen, lounge, bedroom)
  • 35% requirement:
  • 35/100 x 3 = 1.05
  • 1.05 x 100,000
  • £105,000 payment due
Worked example 2

Development proposes the subdivision of a three bed flat into 1 x 2 bed flat and a studio flat. The studio has a floorspace of 39sqm, which under policy P1 (factbox) equates to 2 habitable rooms.

  • habitable rooms = 4 (kitchen, lounge, 2 bedrooms) + 2 (studio of 39sqm) = 6
  • 35% requirement
  • 35/100 x 6 = 2.1
  • 2.1 x 100,000
  • £210,000 payment due
Worked example 3

Development proposes a roof top extension to provide 5 new 2 bed homes (net increase of 5 homes).

  • habitable rooms = 20 habitable rooms (kitchen, lounge and two bedrooms in each)
  • 35% requirement
  • 35/100 x 20 = 7
  • 7 x 100,000
  • £700,000 payment due

Page last updated: 14 February 2023

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