Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) national site assessments

Homes England appointed the Tibbalds CampbellReith JV to carry out an assessment of over 40 sites as part of its national LAAC programme, which was designed to provide central government assistance to local authorities in rapidly assessing necessary financial and technical inputs required to facilitate delivery of housing on available sites in their ownership.

We provided multi-disciplinary assessment services on two tranches of the LAAC programme in 2017 and 2018.  A variety of sites were identified by local authorities from existing registers such as the SHLAA and Brownfield Registers, including rural brownfield sites with legacy issues such as mining, greenfield sites, school playing fields, major urban development sites and infill sites in historic towns. Initial commercial valuations were carried out for over 500 sites using the Homes England Property Panel and the results sifted so that only sites with positive to marginal negative viability were passed to the technical and planning teams for capacity testing.

Our JV team was managed by CampbellReith, which also undertook technical assessment of ground conditions, highways, drainage, noise and air quality.  Tibbalds provides assessment of planning risk and site capacity, with other members of the team including TEP providing ecological assessment, Max Fordham and TGA Consulting providing infrastructure and utility assessments and CgMs assessing heritage. The team had to mobilise quickly and carry out rapid assessments as soon as the valuation report and site details were provided.

A consistent and transparent methodology was agreed with Homes England at the outset which included consultations with the local authorities and regulators. It also covered constraint investigation, site assessment and reporting as well as approaches to abnormal costs on such issues as SuDS and how to break down larger potential development sites into potentially viable development plots. All information was combined in a succinct focussed report highlighting site capacity and abnormal costs bench-marked against the site valuations.