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Khan intervenes to double affordable homes at Barratt scheme

By Paul Norman - Friday, October 06, 2017 13:17

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has approved a Barratt London residential development in Mill Hill after intervening to double the level of affordable homes and to include homes at social rent levels within the development.

The mayor's office said the move underlined his "tough approach to accelerating the delivery of new and genuinely affordable housing in London".

Barnet Council refused permission for the development on the former National Institute for Medical Research site in February this year, against the advice of its own planning officers.

The plans orginally included 20% affordable housing – 92 homes, all of which were for shared ownership. Earlier this year the Mayor ‘called in’ the planning application and has now approved 40% affordable housing on the site - 185 homes, including 131 for shared ownership and 54 at social rent levels.

The mayor's office added: "Sadiq also ensured 119 trees which would have been felled across the site will now be retained and an additional 91 new trees will be planted. The development will also see a number of sports pitches previously in private hands transferred to the local council for community use.

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “Delivering more of the genuinely affordable homes Londoners need is one of my top priorities as Mayor and I will use all the tools at my disposable to do so.

“This development offers a significant number of high-quality homes which will be available through shared ownership, to help people struggling to buy a home on the open market. I have also been able to secure new homes at social rent levels within the development, which is key to helping Londoners on low incomes and to making sure we build a mixed community here.

“I am also delighted my planners have saved more than 100 trees from removal as well as increased the number of new trees planted – all of which will be enjoyed by the future residents in this new development for years to come.”

Earlier this year, the mayor published his Affordable Housing and Viability SPG, aimed at offering a "surer, quicker route through the planning process for developments with least 35 per cent affordable housing".

In September, Sadiq rejected amendments to plans to redevelop the former headquarters of the Metropolitan Police, which would have lowered the overall proportion of affordable homes.

The site was previously home to the National Institute for Medical Research (NIMR), which has now relocated to the Francis Crick Institute in St Pancras, central London.

This is the third time the Mayor has called in a planning application since he took office: the first, in Palmerston Road in Wealdstone included 186 homes, of which 41 per cent (74 homes) will be affordable, while the second – at Hale Wharf in Tottenham Hale – delivers 505 homes, with at least 35 per cent affordable (177 homes), which increased from nine per cent since the Mayor first saw the scheme.

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