Who we are

Bailey Venning Associates was formed by Richard Bailey and George Venning following the management buyout of Levvel, a long established affordable housing consultancy. BVA is a UK based, specialist affordable housing consultancy. We provide the expert evidence and insight that enables our clients to plan for and establish viable, inclusive and sustainable affordable housing for local communities across the country.

We have broad experience in developing and managing housing for low and middle income households and ensuring that a range of housing products are provided to satisfy housing need and demand across the whole housing market spectrum.


Richard Bailey

Founding Director and Affordable Housing Specialist, Richard leads on viability and complex, strategic negotiations. He relishes the knotty process of imposing order on complexity.

Richard ‘s experience of implementing, financing and co-ordinating the provision of affordable housing initiatives facilitates his role in leading affordable housing negotiations across a number of large, strategic sites, together with presenting professional evidence at public inquiries where required. This work has included successful presentation of viability evidence to Public Inquiries involving the complex modelling of housing led projects with significant infrastructure commitments.

Before establishing BVA, Richard joined affordable housing consultancy Levvel in 2004, becoming Managing Director there, after working as Senior Project and Development Manager with Anchor Trust, a large specialist housing association that provided housing and care services for older people across England. Richard was responsible for the delivery of over 1,100 units of specialist elderly accommodation through two Government sponsored, Private Finance Initiatives. He has also worked for a national house builder developing schemes across the South West of England and for the UK National Health Service in developing specialist community based services for people with learning difficulties.

Richard has also put his experience into practice in consulting with a Middle East sovereign state on the development of affordable housing policies and strategies to ensure provision of housing for middle income groups.

Richard has a degree in Building Surveying, an MBA in Construction and Real Estate and he also holds an RICS Diploma in Project Management. He also acts as an external examiner to the University College of Estate Management.

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George Venning

A founder Director, George is an experienced Development Consultant and compelling Expert Witness with an eye for the telling detail in a heap of data. He is based in London.

George leads on BVA’s research and policy function and has provided expert testimony to a large number of Planning Inquiries around the country as well as contributing to the Examination in Public of a number of Local Plans. He led the development of the viability study which was an important element of the Evidence Base to the Plan for Stafford and is involved in research on the affordability and accessibility of housing in a number of market areas.

Prior to setting up BVA, George began his affordable housing consulting work for Levvel in 2004 and was based in their London office. Before joining Levvel, George worked in the development departments of two significant housing associations in England, including one of the London G15. He has been involved in the negotiation of the affordable housing for a significant number of developments ranging from small sites of around 30 units to large strategic schemes and is currently retained on projects with a combined capacity of several thousand homes.

Recent projects include the achievement of planning permission for a major strategic development in Wales with capacity for 2,000 homes. He has provided detailed advice on the extent and nature of the need for affordable homes in areas across England which has been instrumental in demonstrating the benefit of residential development and, ultimately, securing consent.

This work included carrying out detailed housing market and ‘affordability gap’ analysis of all tenures at a local level, identifying stresses in the immediate housing market and providing a highly detailed picture of local need. He has carried out viability negotiations on developments which have used a number of different viability methodologies and is familiar with the differences between and merits of several models – including the Greater London Authority Toolkit, the HCA’s Economic Appraisal Tool and Argus. He has appeared as an expert witness in a number of public Inquiries, which have related to affordable housing and settled a number of other negotiations which have been the subject of appeal without recourse to formal hearings. George has appeared on several occasions at the Examination of Local Development Framework documents and has lectured on the proper use of viability assessments at conferences.

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Senior Development Consultant

Ciaran Ryan

An experienced housing specialist with an enviable track record, Ciaran is highly detail oriented and a determined negotiator on behalf of his public and private sector clients.

Ciaran has in excess of a decade of experience providing development consultancy advice to land owners, developers and Local Authorities. Before joining BVA, Ciaran worked for Levvel where he utilised his specialist skills in town planning, development economics and affordable housing consultancy. He holds an M.Sc. in Planning Policy and Practice from University College Dublin (UCD) and licentiate membership of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI).

He works across the UK and has led viability negotiations in over 50 Local Authorities on sites ranging in size from 10 units, to larger, multi-phased, mixed use, strategic developments of over 2,000 homes. These negotiations have led to the creation of successful communities with associated infrastructure provision. He also provides advice to clients on appropriate mechanisms to secure affordable housing through Section 106 agreements. Ciaran has led CIL viability studies in the East of England and South West. This evidence base helps to inform Local Plan policies, affordable housing targets and the setting of a deliverable Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL).

Ciaran has a particular specialism in development appraisals, viability studies and discounted cash flow appraisals. He is proficient in preparing robust viability assessments, using a variety of toolkits, including the HCA’s Development Appraisal Toolkit (DAT) and Argus Developer. His ability to combine this specialism with planning policy interpretation ensures that he is well placed to advise clients regarding innovative delivery methods, lead Section 106 negotiations and reach an agreed position.

Recent projects include development consultancy advice relating to the successful delivery of a mixed-use Community Land Trust in the South West, a strategic mixed-use redevelopment of a travel interchange in the East of England and Section 106 negotiations on behalf of a large London-based developer. Ciaran is also actively advising one of the UK’s largest private land owners regarding housing need issues, deliverability and affordability analysis. A number of Local Authorities also retain his services and he has recently spoken at an RTPI seminar on various aspects of development economics and affordable housing provision.

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