Development Viability Officer
Chartered Surveyor / Development Viability Officer
Salary & Benefits: We are offering a salary between £48,747 - £55,845 (experience dependent – reviewed bi-annually with annual increment) Our additional benefits are exemplary and unrivalled – see remuneration pack within the role on our website for full details.
Start Date: 24 July 2023 (alternative commencement dates will be considered for lengthy notice periods)
Contract: Permanent with growth potential in post and wider team when opportunities arise.
Eligibility: Applicants must be eligible to become a member of the RICS by way of academia (undergraduate/post graduate RICS accredited degree/masters – or through the experience route.
Application Closing Date: 25 June 2023
Location: London (Whitechapel) and remote working
The housing crisis is an ongoing issue within the UK and more specifically within Greater London. The need to accommodate thousands of individuals and families on housing waiting lists across the capital continues to grow rapidly creating an urgent need in seeking to maximise the affordable housing contributions made by developers as part of new development schemes.
To meet this urgent need requires a consistent delivery of both private and affordable housing across the whole of the London. It is therefore critical that a well-planned and coordinated policy base is maintained, and that this is implemented consistently and robustly. To this end, Development Viability plays an integral part within the planning process and the delivery of affordable housing/developer contributions.
The Team - Tower Hamlets Viability (THV)
To ensure Tower Hamlets is best placed to address matters relating to development viability, the council has created a dedicated team to assess development appraisals and provide advice to planning officers and politicians.
THV is an internal council service & a fee earning commercial service providing specialist development viability advice to both the planning department at LBTH as well as other planning authorities (primarily within London). The team holds professional expertise in development viability/valuation and relevant RICS accreditation (qualified chartered status). Experience held within the team is vast with private and public sector backgrounds.
Viability Officers/Surveyors are involved in several areas of work including (not limited to):
- Review & negotiate financial viability assessments/development appraisals of mixed-use development schemes from small to very large/strategic development (2000+ units)
- Area wide development viability advice (Local Plan/CIL Charging Schedule)
- Site inspections where required.
- Review mechanisms (Securing effective reviews through s.106 agreements and undertaking assessments at triggers)
- Community Led Housing/Self Build Projects – reviewing viability assessments and assessing affordability.
- CIL Payment in Kind – land valuations/approach advice.
You will play an active role in contributing to the overarching aims of the team and affordable housing ambitions more widely, both in Tower Hamlets and across London. Your everyday responsibilities will comprise (not limited to) the following:
· Gaining a strong, in-depth knowledge of Tower Hamlets and London property/development markets in a planning context and staying up to date with changes to legislation and practice as part of an industry-leading borough.
· Supporting and producing written reports of financial viability assessments (FVAs), supported by viability appraisals prepared using Argus Developer software. This also includes undertaking follow-up assessments triggered by review mechanisms.
· Undertaking site inspections as necessary.
· Providing valuation/viability advice to planning officers to assist with decision making and with negotiating maximum amounts of affordable housing with applicants.
· Forging strong relationships with public sector clients such as planning authorities/councils mainly across London where THV are commissioned to undertake instructions on their behalf.
· Preparing briefing notes for politicians and appearing at Development Committee meetings where relevant to provide viability-specific advice and respond to queries.
· Preparing documents for planning appeals and inquiries and appearing as expert witness where required (Grade L).
· Assisting with procurement and management of Quantity Surveyors feeding into viability assessments undertaken by THV and other Surveyors/Firms for strategic projects such as Local Plan evidence bases, Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) rate setting, and various Supplementary Planning Documents (SPDs).
· Supporting and providing advice to legal/planning colleagues with respects to securing affordable housing provisions/clauses as part of any legal agreement.
· Supporting and providing Ad-Hoc viability/valuation advice relating to any matter within the council.
Is this role for me?
This is a mid-senior post in a dynamic team, and therefore ideal for candidates soon to be or recently RICS qualified (MRICS status who qualified via the Valuation, Commercial Property or Planning & Development pathways is ideal) or for those with existing experience able to quickly take responsibility for their own casework. In any case, working for a busy borough such as Tower Hamlets allows for exposure to complex and interesting projects throughout the year and across the capital.
The post accommodates a wide range of potential candidates but would be suited for:
· Someone with experience in valuation/viability currently undertaking the RICS APC elsewhere and looking for a change.
· A recently qualified valuation surveyor looking to further their career in development viability/valuations.
· Qualified professional with knowledge/experience of valuations/viability.
Please seek to apply for the grading that is suitable to your circumstance as your application will be considered against the requirements of the respective grade applied for. Grade K will have its own assessment criteria as well as Grade L. There is opportunity for growth in post as well as in the team where opportunities arise. If you would like to discuss eligibility, please contact us on the details below.
The council is determined to employ and more importantly retain valued members of the team. Given that we offer so much by way of additional benefits we have set out the full and extensive list within the remuneration pack (attached/available on our website apart of the role). From excellent pay scales, training and support we’ve not missed anything out. Our aim is to have staff feel confident in their roles and recognised for their continuous efforts.
This is a genuinely fantastic opportunity with outstanding benefits so apply today via the council’s recruitment portal (Alvius).
We strongly advise you to read “Advice for Applicants 2023” carefully before applying. This can be found on our website apart of the role and will be the best form of guidance when creating an application.
Should you have any queries regarding the post or would like to discuss the role in further detail please contact Joshim Uddin (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call 020 7364 1666
Tower Hamlets vision for our borough is that: people are aspirational, independent and have equal access to opportunities; we are a borough that our residents are proud of and love to live in; and we are a dynamic, outcomes-based council using digital innovation and partnership working to respond to the changing needs of our borough. We want people who aspire to our TOWER values: Together; Open; Willing; Excellent; Respect.
Tower Hamlets has a zero-tolerance approach to, and works to eradicate, all forms of discrimination on the basis of race, sex, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation, gender reassignment, marital status, status as a civil partner, gender, gender identity, gender expression, pregnancy and maternity and looks to employ a diverse workforce representative of those groups. We recognise that people can also be disadvantaged by their social and economic circumstances, so we will work to eliminate discrimination and disadvantage caused by social class.
We welcome applicants interested in flexible working arrangements and also applicants who live in the borough.