Supporting Urbanest’s planning application for student accommodation



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appraisal for viability assessment (planning) purposes

Tower Hamlets

1,672 purpose built student accommodation ("PBSA") units, as part of a wider mixed use development


Urbanest and their planning consultants required our assistance with a viability assessment, as part of their ongoing planning application for the mixed-use redevelopment of 2 Trafalgar Way, in the London Borough of Tower Hamlets. The aim of the assessment was to save up to £20 million of Community Infrastructure Levy (“CIL”), to support financial viability of the scheme.


Our Student Housing team assessed rental value on a full direct let basis, to demonstrate that the proposed rents under a nominations agreement were at sub market rents, in order to fulfil the London Borough of Tower Hamlets criteria for exemption from CIL in respect of the student accommodation.  The focus of the assessment was subsequently changed by Urbanest and its planning consultants, and a full appraisal of the student accommodation was provided, in order to assist viability assessment, for the purpose of determining the potential affordable housing contribution.

Added value

JLL’s Student Housing Advisory team collaborated with JLL’s Higher Education and Student Accommodation Capital Markets teams, to draw upon a wealth of experience and resources to quickly re-focus the report within a short timescale. The report produced was highly insightful and market leading, minimising the likelihood of LB Tower Hamlets successfully challenging any aspect of the report.


Revised requirements led to refocusing and delivery of the report in tight timescales.


JLL’s appraisal and report was swiftly re-focused within a short timescale, to enable Urbanest’s planning consultants to promptly incorporate the appraisal within its viability assessment, in order to meet tight planning submission deadlines.