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Planning, Property and Profit: The Use of Financial Viability Modelling in Urban Property Development

Mitchell, Edward (2020) 'Planning, Property and Profit: The Use of Financial Viability Modelling in Urban Property Development.' Northern Ireland Legal Quarterly, 71 (1). 35 - 55. ISSN 0029-3105

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Abstract

By drawing upon McAuslan’s analysis of the ideologies underpinning land use planning law, this paper examines financial viability modelling and legal processes in the context of local authority decision-making related to property development on large urban sites. A local authority can make a site ready for development by using ‘compulsory purchase’ powers to acquire land, by transferring that land to a property developer and by granting that developer planning permission to commence construction. Analysis of case law, academic criticism of viability modelling practices and a recent property development project highlights issues arising when local authority planning departments use viability appraisals to legitimise decisions purportedly taken in the public interest. An in-depth examination of viability modelling within local authority estates departments then opens a new site for critical inquiry of local authority land acquisition practices. The paper’s conclusions reflect upon how financial viability modelling shapes decision-making despite questions surrounding both modelling techniques and the outputs that viability appraisals produce.

Item Type: Article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Compulsory purchase, Local authorities, Property development, Planning, Viability
Divisions: Faculty of Humanities > Law, School of
Depositing User: Elements
Date Deposited: 18 Mar 2020 15:43
Last Modified: 01 Jun 2020 07:12
URI: http://repository.essex.ac.uk/id/eprint/26903

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