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PAUL S CORDOCK said: “The open book negotiation process is unfairly biased in favour of the council, which is why developers avoid it” (Letters, September 27).
It is in fact a standard and fair way to assess viability. Other house builders welcome it as a fair and accountable way to build in costs as part of bidding.
By ensuring developer profit is maintained, it allows schemes to move forward to planning approval. The 20 per cent developer profit is set out in the developer appraisal, along with all other costs.
Unfortunately, planning approval will not ensure houses are built. Lending rules have tightened and developers cannot now access such good financial packages.
On smaller sites, some landowners haven’t recognised the fall in house prices and purchaser difficulties. Mortgage packages have become fewer and more demanding. Deposits required have gone up from nought per cent to 20 per cent in most cases. Potential buyers are worried at the risk of buying given job uncertainty.
These real reasons for the slump can be seen in the hundreds of private sites with no affordable housing, which the council has approved, but building has not been able to start.
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