Mayor signals tough stance on affordable housing

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  • 05/09/2017
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Mayor signals tough stance on affordable housing
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has rejected plans which would have lowered the proportion of affordable housing on a major housing development in the capital.

The redevelopment of New Scotland yard at 8-10 Broadway in Westminster was sold by the previous mayor with a £10m payment and 10 affordable homes – 4% of the total.

The developer, BL Developments, sought to increase the total number of homes by 27, from 268 to 295, with no increase in the number of affordable units or payment in lieu, take the level of affordable housing to 3%.

Khan’s decision comes just a few weeks after he criticised Wandsworth Council for allowing the developers of Battersea Power Station to slash the amount of affordable housing by 40% from 636 homes to just 386 – 9% of the 4,239 homes across the scheme.

“A shortage of affordable homes is at the heart of the housing crisis in our city,” he said. “The scheme put forward for this site is simply unacceptable: it fails to provide the maximum amount of affordable housing that could be delivered.”

Khan (pictured) added: “This comes just a few weeks after the outrageous decision to cut the level of affordable housing at Battersea Power Station and I am more determined than ever to do all I can to ensure Londoners are not short-changed when it comes to developers doing their bit to help tackle London’s housing crisis.

“The government now needs to show it is committed to this too and devolve the powers to help me stop developers getting away with unacceptably low levels of affordable housing.”

Earlier this year the Mayor published his Supplementary Planning Guidance on viability and affordable housing, which said that developers offering at least 35% affordable housing without public subsidy could expect a quicker, more certain route through the planning system.

Earlier this week he wrote to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, urging the government to allow increased council tax charges on empty properties in central London.

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