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Affordable Housing Viability Expert - London / Full time


Excellent Salary & Benefits Package

London, London



The Role
Lichfields is seeking to expand its planning and development consultancy offer with the appointment of a senior-level affordable housing viability expert.

We have a large team of planners, planning and development surveyors, economists and other planning and development related specialists with experience of a wide range of matters including development management, planning policy, property market analysis, affordable housing, CIL, and strategic viability work for private and public sector clients.

We are now seeking to move our offer on to the next level and to appoint someone who can help us build a specialist team advising on viability matters particularly related to affordable housing. A key focus of the role will be on helping clients to optimize scheme deliverability including engagement and negotiation with local planning authorities.

We also see the potential to advise the public sector and in both sectors we have extensive well-established client-bases where this new service could easily be cross-sold.

The successful candidate should be an RICS Registered Valuer and will most probably have a lead role advising on affordable housing viability matters in London and possibly operating further afield. We expect the successful candidate would have an excellent working knowledge of industry recognised financial viability models and to be a good negotiator. We would also expect them to have the ability to give evidence at public inquiries and examinations to support our planning and development work or demonstrate similar types of experience.

We envisage the role will primarily involve advising house builder, developer and housing association clients on the viability at site purchase, feasibility, pre-application, planning application and post-planning stages. We would also expect you to assist clients in s106 negotiations as applicable.  Depending on the candidate, wider aspects of the role might extend to include inputs to local plan viability advice, including viability testing and challenge as part of strategic land promotion or when reviewing draft CIL charging schedules; and strategic property advice including review of clients’ land and property portfolios and commercial due diligence; and advice on delivery models, developer procurement, partnerships and agreements.

We wish to build a team (of say three in the first instance) to undertake this type of work and the senior-level expert would be fully involved in creating this team.  We anticipate the new team would be based in London (with presence also encouraged in our Thames Valley office in Reading) and over time the remit could be extended nationally and this would be actively encouraged through recruitment and marketing and business development support.

We consider that cross-selling this service to our existing clients has potential to create a significant new revenue stream, but we also anticipate that the successful candidate would have their own network of client contacts and carry out stand-alone commissions.  This newly created team would work closely alongside several of our existing teams including those seeking planning permission for housing and mixed-use developments, promoting strategic land and others preparing evidence based studies and advising the public sector. 

About Lichfields
Lichfields is the pre-eminent planning and development consultancy in the UK. We are an expanding business with a track record of building our business around good people and strong business propositions. In London we have successfully developed heritage, daylight and sunlight, townscape and visual impact assessment teams specifically geared to working in the Capital.

We employ 215 staff based out of eight offices of which the largest is London (c.110 people). Other offices are in Bristol, Cardiff, Edinburgh, Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle and Thames Valley. We have recently re-branded so that how we present ourselves to the market reflects the dynamism of our people, our breadth of services, and the recent growth of the company. The ethos within the company is a highly collaborative one which encourages and rewards cross-team and cross-office working.

Our private sector clients include all the major volume house builders, the largest strategic land promoters, many of the key commercial property developers, asset managers, major retailers, and leisure operators. Our public sector clients include the HCA, GLA, local authorities, LEPs, health trusts and we are also well positioned with Government on several aspects of housing policy.

The majority of our work relates to working with all sectors of the development industry to assist them in formulating and implementing development schemes. Our people comprise mainly chartered town planners, alongside economists, designers, daylight and sunlight experts, and several planning and development surveyors (practicing as planning consultants on development projects).

The company’s foundations in the 1960s were in development economics; Professor Nathaniel Lichfield was a pioneer in the application of property economics to land use planning, and we advised on the economic foundations for the second wave of New Towns. In recent years Lichfields has advised a range of house builders on affordable housing viability for relatively straightforward residential projects using the HCA toolkit, carried out strategic viability analysis to inform strategic land site promotion through local plans, and undertaken business planning/feasibility advice to support funding bids. Our broader economics offer leads the market, including corporate economics and strategy advice to a number of PLCs, as well as a full suite of socio-economics skills.

Lichfields is owned by an Employee Benefit Trust which means the company is run in the interests of all its people, who share in the success through a generous staff bonus and executive reward scheme, on top of highly competitive salaries and a good range of other benefits.

If you are interested in this position, click "Apply Now / Submit” below to upload your CV.  Your application will be processed and you will receive a response from us within 7 days.

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