I love being able to find solutions that unlock complex problems. Successfully demonstrating the financial viability of a scheme can often be the difference between a planning permission that sits on a shelf and development that gets delivered.

Gemma Saffhill

Technical Director

MA (Oxon)

gemma.saffhill@torandco.com linkedin

Gemma has over 15 years’ consultancy experience in the viability and affordable housing field.


Her passion for delivering desirable, feasible and affordable housing is driven first-hand knowledge having sat as a Board Member and Chair of the Development Committee for the Registered Provider PA Housing until 2018.

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Gemma's Projects

Waverley House, Bournemouth

Waverley House has benefitted from tor&co operating in an interdisciplinary function to achieve planning consent for a Build to Rent development for c. 300 new homes with associated communal facilities, and new commercial floorspace. The financial viability assessment was submitted to demonstrate the economic difficulty of delivering both policy priorities in the Lansdowne area of reprovision of commercial floorspace and the delivery of affordable housing. The Council understood the tensions and prioritised the reprovision of commercial floorspace in granting planning permission.

The Mall, Walthamstow

The planning permission for c.495 Build to Rent homes and associated amenities was secured as part of a wider planning consent to regenerate the existing shopping centre and reprovide local transport facilities, by Capital & Regional. Our client, Long Harbour, sat alongside Capital & Regional during the viability and Section 106 negotiations following a resolution to grant planning permission by the local planning committee, to become the eventual owners and operators of the Build to Rent element of the scheme. The flexibility required by Long Harbour to fund the development phase and create a Build to Rent scheme that can operate successfully and efficiently in the long term was achieved as desired.

H18, Billericay

Working alongside the tor&co planning team, planning consent for c. 200 mixed tenure homes was secured at appeal on this green belt site. Having promoted the site through the plan process, our client Gleeson Land Ltd was disappointed that at the point of adoption of the Basildon Plan it was politically withdrawn, leaving the developer with only appeal as the potential route to securing planning permission. Following the submission of affordable housing evidence to the inquiry, the evidence was uncontested by the council, and no expert witness input was required at inquiry. Planning consent was later granted by the Planning Inspectorate citing the proposed affordable housing as providing considerable weight in favour of the appeal.