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Development Appraisal Tool

The HCA’s Development Appraisal Tool (DAT) is designed to appraise in detail the viability of an individual site. It takes into account local assumptions for costs and value, and records the dates at which these assumptions impact on a project cashflow over the life cycle of the development. This will help to identify the residual land value or funding deficit. It is intended to be transparent and easy to use by both delivery teams and client organisations.

Using the tool

The HCA is using the tool as part of the Delivery Partner Panel 2 initial procurement to make it easier to compare and benchmark aspects of the bids, and will continue to use the method as part of on-going disposals through the panel in future.  The ability to compare bids on the same basis will help to ensure compliance in use of the panel, greater transparency and the use of a single model will generate significant efficiencies in use for both the public and private sectors.

This latest version of the tool has been updated following feedback from private sector members of the Panel . The tool now includes an option to specify delayed stage payments for land and allows the valuation of affordable housing directly from capital values

Local planning

The model can also assist local authority planning teams manage individual site viability negotiations during the planning process to agree an affordable housing mix alongside the impact of Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and other planning obligations. The DAT complements the HCA Area Wide Viability model which can be used by local planning authorities to viability test their planning policy – either at local plan stage, or affordable housing policy setting or to establish a CIL charging structure on typical site typologies throughout their area in accordance with the requirements of the National Planning Policy Framework.

Affordable Homes Programme

Under national planning policy guidance (PPS3) local authorities are expected to maximise affordable housing delivery through the use of developer contributions. The 2011-15 Affordable Homes Programme framework states the HCA’s expectation that affordable homes delivered on developer led mixed tenure sites through s106 agreements will be delivered on a nil-grant basis. Where HCA funding is sought on such sites, the DAT model will be used to test the additional homes that grant might deliver. The tool has capacity to test Affordable Rent tenure as well as Social Rent and Shared Ownership tenures alongside Open Market Sale and Private Rented units. The model includes analytical tools including capacity to run sensitivity analysis scenarios.

Accessing the Development Appraisal Tool

The tool, consisting of an Excel spreadsheet and a separate PDF user manual, is freely available to download by any organisation that wishes to use it:

Mac users should see the relevant user guide appendix.

Please send any queries or technical questions about the tool to in the first instance. Local authority partners should contact their local HCA contact if additional support is required.

New DAT self-training exercise

Download our new DAT self-training exercise consisting of instructions and a part populated excel DAT file:

Users can either:

  1. Follow a manual process (approximately 2 hours)
    Open and follow exercise instructions
  2. Run a quick demo (approximately 30 minutes)
    Open Excel spreadsheet
    Accept the disclaimer
    Press Ctrl and O (letter not zero) at the same time
    Follow instructions on screen
    To exit demo before the end press Ctrl and Break at the same time

Add to which folder?
Add to which folder?