New Viability tool to aid the planning process

New Viability tool to aid the planning process

A new framework designed to help decision-makers and property developers better navigate local planning processes, is now available from planning and development consultancy Lichfields.

The Viability tool supports the promotion of sites, assesses evidence prepared to inform strategic plans, and informs the presentation of evidence to local plan and CIL (Community Infrastructure Levy) examination.

It can be applied in a flexible way and shaped to reflect the increasing level of detail that is required as a strategic plan moves through the various stages of consultation towards submission, examination and adoption. This could include a high-level overview of viability issues to inform candidate site submissions, with additional detail provided as plans for the site and the local authority’s policy aspirations become clearer. 

In addition, recognising the need for strategic plans to be flexible in responding to changing circumstances, Lichfields’ Viability tool can be applied at the planning application stage and inform the case for the renegotiation of viability where necessary.

Simon Coop, Senior Director at Lichfields

The combination of viability being front loaded into the plan-making process and the standardisation of inputs is necessitating a change in approach said Simon Coop, Senior Director at Lichfields and the firm’s housing development group lead, who added that understanding the relationship between planning policy and viability is critical.

“Viability lies at the heart of the planning process and must be given due regard from the earliest stages of site promotion,” Simon Coop said. “Our robust framework helps decision-makers navigate this area of the system providing an evidence-led case for development at each phase of the planning process.”

More about the Lichfields Viability tool at

decision-makers and property developers can better navigate local planning processes with the Lichfields Viability tool

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BDC 309 : Oct 2023