Mayor challenges Wandsworth Council on affordable homes

October 18, 2017 / Isla MacFarlane
Mayor challenges Wandsworth Council on affordable homes

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has used his planning powers to boost the number of genuinely affordable homes being delivered on a new housing development in Wandsworth.

The Mayor intervened after Wandsworth Council refused permission for the development of the site of a current Homebase store in Swandon Way in April this year, due to the height and scale of the development, and its proximity to a nearby conversation area. The development included just 23% affordable housing, or 84 of the 348 homes in the scheme.

The Mayor used his planning powers to ‘call in’ the development and has achieved an increase in the level of affordable housing to 35% – meaning 136 of the 385 homes in the approved plans will be affordable.

The delivery of affordable homes has also been brought forward, with 55% arriving in the first phase – all of which would have been built much later under the previous plans.

The Mayor has agreed a review mechanism, which could see affordable housing increase to as much as 50% if an agreed level of progress is not made on the development within two years.

The developer will contribute £2.5 million towards a new entrance to nearby Wandsworth Town station. The plans also include substantial cycle parking, retail and commercial units, and improvements to public spaces.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said, “I’ve made it clear I am committed to increasing the delivery of genuinely affordable housing in London, especially given the pitiful legacy I inherited, and I will use my full range of planning powers to achieve this.

“This development offers a significant number of high-quality homes in a location which offers great transport links and local amenities. We have confirmed more than half of the affordable homes will be delivered up front in the first stage of construction.

“I’m also really pleased we have secured a review mechanism which could increase the level of affordable housing further – and that people who live and work in the area will benefit from a significant upgrade to Wandsworth Town Station.”

This is the second time in two weeks that the Mayor used his planning powers to their fullest extent. Earlier this month, he approved plans for 185 affordable homes in Mill Hill after intervening to double the amount of affordable homes to 40%.

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