The Mayor of London has stepped in to review two planning decisions rejected by councils in the city which have the potential to provide hundreds of new affordable homes.
The move sends signals to councils that they need to work to make developments of new homes viable at a time when at least 200,000 new homes a year need to be built to cope with housing demand with London facing one of the biggest shortages of affordable properties in the UK.
Developers and builders have highlighted the fact that councils can hold up planning applications and refusals are not always reasonable and the Government is working to introduce new planning rules to fast tract potential housing sites.
In this case the Mayor Sadiq Khan, has stepped to take over two major planning applications in London, one in Haringey and the other in Harrow, so that City Hall experts can help create more suitable proposals.
Haringey Council had rejected an application for up to 505 homes including a 21 storey tower at Hale Wharf in Tottenham over concerns that it would be too tall and would adversely impact green belt land. An application for 186 homes in Palmerston Road in Wealdstone was also rejected by Harrow Council as the 17 storey development was deemed too high.
Both sites sit within designated Opportunity Areas and Housing Zones, areas of land that are considered appropriate for development. City Hall planners will now work with the respective developers to secure as much affordable housing as possible at both sites.
‘These developments have the potential to bring real benefits as part of the wider regeneration of Tottenham Hale and Wealdstone, including hundreds of genuinely affordable new homes. However, each proposal needs work if they are to realise that potential,’ said Khan.
‘I have asked my planning team to work with both local authorities to bring forward revised proposals that could produce better schemes that will protect the green belt from development and will deliver much needed affordable housing,’ he added.
The Mayor will consider both schemes at representation hearings that will be held later in the year.