Development Viability Model (DVM) Assessment Tool

Page updated on: 15/04/2024

We have worked alongside Town Planning and Development consultants Burrows-Hutchinson Ltd, in partnership with other Councils across the region, to develop and establish the Development Viability Model (DVM) assessment tool. 

All viability challenges on planning applications will be charged by us.

The DVM has been created as a comprehensive, user-friendly model for the purpose of assessing the financial viability of a development proposal. This model is used to support the determination of certain planning applications or the allocation of sites in the LDP.

The DVM is a ‘site-specific’ appraisal tool. Each copy of the model that is issued by us will relate to a specific development site. The same copy of the model can, however, be re-used to assess more than one proposed scenario for development of that specific site.

We can make the DVM available to developers, site promoters, or any other individual/organisation, for the purpose of undertaking a financial viability appraisal (“FVA”) of a proposed development.

The model will be released on a site-specific basis (i.e. it will be ‘locked’ for use on that particular site), subject to us receiving payment of a standard fee.

The primary purpose of the financial viability appraisal is to demonstrate whether a development proposal and/or proposed site for allocation is likely to be “viable”. Where it may be either necessary or appropriate for information from a financial viability appraisal to be released as evidence, for example to support a specific site allocation in the Council’s LDP, we will discuss with the site promoter the extent to which such information may be released.

DVM submissions in support of Local Development Plan Allocated Sites only will require payment of the Local Development Plan Allocation Assessment fees.

The DVM can also be used as a tool to evidence the financial viability of a development proposal at the planning application stage, please view Planning Application Assessment Fees.

  • Sites of 1-9 units: £245
  • Sites of 10-40 units: £395
  • Sites 41-100 units: £545
  • Sites of more than 100 units - £945 (cost to be agreed with Council depending on size and complexity of proposal)

All charges are subject to VAT and are subject to change

  • Sites of up to 9 units: £745 (or £550 if a high-level appraisal has already been carried out)
  • Sites of 10-40 units: £1,245 (or £900 where a high-level appraisal has been carried out)
  • Sites of 41 or more units: cost will be provided on agreement depending on size/complexity

All charges are subject to VAT and are subject to change

The standard fees that will apply covers our administrative time necessary to personalise and issue the model for the specific site, as well as officer time required to carry out a high-level review of the submitted financial viability appraisal (FVA).

Additional fees may apply in instances where further officer time is necessary as a result of the site promoter entering into further exchanges with the Council which relate to the appraisal submitted, and/or if the supporting evidence submitted is insufficient.

The high-level review that we will undertake of a completed DVM submission will check the appropriateness of the information provided by the site promoter as part of the appraisal. This process will also ensure that the cells in the DVM’s spreadsheets have been appropriately completed.

The review will consider whether:

  1. evidence supplied to support costs and values used in the submitted FVA is sufficient and proportionate;
  2. the suggested timescale for the development are realistic; and
  3. the FVA accords with policy requirements of the Council and with other guidance and/or policy statements that are pertinent to the assessment of Viability in a Planning context.

Following completion of the high-level review, we will issue a simple statement to the site promoter to indicate the extent to which it considers the submitted financial viability appraisal meets the tests outlined above.


Should you require to undertake a Development Viability Appraisal for your development, you should contact the relevant planning officer who will deal with your planning application, or LDP allocation by emailing
The officer will provide you with details on how to pay and the processes on issuing the model to you.

We recognise that some information required to demonstrate viability may be considered by the site promoter as commercially sensitive. However, as stated in the Welsh Government’s LDP Manual, this issue of sensitivity is not a sufficient reason to avoid providing the appropriate evidence (LDP Manual, para. 5.96). Each submitted FVA will not be made publicly available and will be treated as confidential between the Council and the person or organisation that has submitted it.

Each copy of the DVM also incorporates a 'Quick Guide', which is aimed at those undertaking an assessment of a purely residential development site of no more than 5 or 6 acres. Users are also advised that ‘Help Notes’ are built into the model, embedded within the worksheets themselves, which remind the user what to do on each sheet.

Some developers will have invested in alternative viability models, and so long as they are a recognised model (Circle, Argus etc) they can be used. However you will still be charged the above fees.

If no model at all is used – the valuers fee will be a minimum of 50% more than the above.  If the information provided is not easily legible, or does not translate directly to easily populate the Burrows Hutchinson model, our valuers will reserve the right to charge more, or decline the submission.

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