Commuted Sum Calculator part 1a

To calculate your affordable housing contribution you need to follow the 3 stage process. 

Affordable housing thresholds

The thresholds (number of homes on a scheme) where affordable housing can be required are established in a combination of National  and Local Planning Policy  and vary by location.  Our adopted Local Plan policy on affordable housing requires contributions to be sought from all sites, unless Government Guidance indicates otherwise.

In May 2016 the Government revised the online Planning Practice Guidance.  This states that tariff contributions should not be sought from developments of 10-units or less, and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of no more than 1000sqm.  However in designated rural areas, local planning authorities may choose to apply a lower threshold of 5-units.

East Devon District Council is choosing to use the lower threshold.  This enables us to seek affordable housing and tariff style contributions on developments of between 6 and 10-units.  In line with the new guidance these will take the form of cash payments, and are payable after the completion of units within the development.  For this purpose ‘Rural’ areas are defined with reference to section 157(1) of the Housing Act 1985.  This is different from how ‘rural’ may be defined in other contexts.  Under the 1985 Housing Act all wards within East Devon except those in Exmouth, Honiton, Seaton and Sidmouth are defined as rural, as shown on the table below.

Stage 1a - Establish if your scheme is required to make a contribution to affordable housing:

WardNumber of dwellings
1 – 5 ( and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of no more than 1000sqm)
Number of dwellings
6 - 10 (and which have a maximum combined gross floorspace of no more than 1000sqm)

Urban Areas:

Exmouth Wards: Exmouth Town, Littleham, Brixington,Halsdon, Withycombe Raleigh

Honiton Wards: St Michaels and St Paul’s

Seaton Ward, Sidmouth Urban and Rural Wards




On-site affordable housing.

All other wards in East are classed as Rural Area under the Housing Act for this purpose



Affordable housing financial contribution


On-site affordable housing.

Off-site affordable housing contributions are required on sites of 6-10 dwellings in rural area (note 1).  The council may also accept off-site cash contributions on larger sites, in lieu of onsite provision, where this is clearly justified by planning or other reasons.  On larger sites these   will only be accepted by the council in exceptional circumstances and after all options for on-site delivery have been fully explored and discounted.

On some  sites, it may simply not be possible to meet full the requirement for affordable housing through on-site provision e.g. 25% affordable housing of 14 dwellings is 3.5 dwellings.   In this example three  affordable dwellings could be provided on site and the requirement for the remaining 0.5 unit be met by a commuted payment.

Having decided that the council needs to collect a commuted sum, it is important that there is a consistent and transparent mechanism for calculating the commuted sum to be collected. The Council uses a Commuted Sum Calculator (CSC) for this purpose. More information about the calculator.

To Part 1b