Viability in Planning

Continuum provide an analytical, commercial, and innovative approach to financial viability in planning. Our overarching aim is to achieve a balance between developer and landowner returns whilst achieving maximum benefit in the public interest. Continuum advise on all thing’s viability, negotiating planning obligations (S106), affordable housing and the provision of CIL. 

We are vastly experienced in the financial modelling of residential and mixed-use developments, affordable housing planning policy, understanding the requirements of Local Authorities and the mechanics of Section 106 agreements.

We currently act on behalf of 7 Local Authorities predominantly operating in the north west of England. We have negotiated on their behalf on over 100 viability cases, relating to over 10,000 units. 

We offer an innovative approach to private sector viability, approaching negotiation with a methodology securely founded on the importance of the planning framework and the identification of housing need. Our methodology allows us to provide fair and reasoned arguments regarding the financial viability of a development.

Our service includes:

      Preparation of financial viability assessments

      We produce financial viability assessments (FVA’s) to be submitted in support of planning applications on behalf of both public and private sector clients. Our FVA’s focus on the preparation of detailed financial models, analysis of relevant planning policy and housing need allowing an assessment of the financial viability of a proposed scheme.

      Preparation of independent viability assessment (reviews)

      We have extensive experience of reviewing FVA’s on behalf of Local Authority clients. Our reviews include a robust assessment of submitted information to objectively assess the affordable housing provision and S106 contributions a scheme is able to support.

      Viability review mechanisms & overage

      We create viability review mechanisms that enable the delivery of affordable housing and the securing of S106 contributions through overage and underage agreements.

      Local Plan viability assessments

      We produce viability studies to inform the evidence bases for both Local Plans, CIL charging schedules and Area Action Plans.

      We assess the local housing market on behalf of Council’s to determine current residential sales values, build costs, housing land supply and demand. This information is used by Council’s to inform planning policy.

      Expert witness 

      Continuum act as expert witness at planning appeals providing evidence pertaining to matters concerning viability in planning.

      Property market analysis

      We undertake analysis of local and regional market trends in relation to sales values, build costs, rents, yields, and land values applicable to housing, leisure, industrial and retail. Our comprehensive database of information is used to assess the financial viability of development schemes.

      Planning Policy

      Continuum undertake detailed reviews of affordable housing planning policy and the supporting evidence base to assess the appropriate level of affordable housing that is required from a development based on objective need analyses and housing supply. 

      Related Projects


      Frambury Fields

      Newport, Essex

      Asset 2

      Leyland Motors Test Track


      Asset 2

      Warburton Lane


      Asset 2

      Pomona Island


      Asset 2
      Asset 4
      Asset 5

      "Continuum have provided advice on a range of projects to Chorley Borough Council and latterly South Ribble. Their expertise in Viability in Planning has been invaluable in helping both Chorley and South Ribble secure much needed affordable housing and s106 contributions from Developers and Housebuilders."

      Chief Executive

      Chorley Borough Council

      “Continuum have been integral in managing the development process and securing funding for the Godley Green Garden Village project”

      Head of Major Programmes

      Tameside Metropolitan Borough Council

      “Continuum have been an integral part of the Trivselhus UK team in delivering high quality, sustainable, Swedish homes into the UK marketplace”

      Development Director


      "Following the appointment of Continuum, their professional and forensic review of viability cases has resulted in the Council being able to robustly challenge developers’ assertions relating to viability."

      Head of Major Planning Projects

      Trafford Council

      “The Continuum team have been part of the successful Wokingham Town Centre regeneration team since 2008 providing a wide range of development advice including land acquisition, procurement and financial viability”

      Director of Commercial Property

      Wokingham Borough Council