Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has told Barnet Council that the net loss of 257 social rented homes in the next phase of the Grahame Park estate regeneration (Stage B, Phase 1) is "wholly unacceptable" and does not comply with the London Plan.
The Stage B, Phase 1 planning application from Genesis, which includes the Concourse, proposes 1,083 new homes of which 652 would be a mix of affordable housing tenures, but only 39 of these would be for social rent compared to the existing 557 social rented homes on that part of the site, and only 153 at London Affordable Rent.
In a letter to the Council last September the Mayor's planning representative stated that "The Mayor's Affordable Housing andViability SPG makes it clear that, with applications relating to housing estate renewal, such cases schemes are required to ensure that existing affordable housing is replaced on a like-for-like basis with better quality accommodation, providing at least the equivalent floor space of affordable housing. There should be no net loss of existing affordable housing tenures (including social rented accommodation)."
Barnet Council went ahead regardless and agreed the planning application in November, and the Mayor has now directed them to refuse the application and work with him constructively to remedy the issues he has raised.
Barnet has 2,757 homeless families living in temporary accommodation - the sixth highest in the country, but despite this there will be a loss of 827 social rented homes across the four big estate regenerations in the borough.
Labour's Housing spokesperson & Deputy Leader, Cllr Ross Houston said:
"I welcome the Mayor of London's intervention in the Grahame Park estate regeneration.
"The loss of 257 affordable homes for social rent is unacceptable. In Barnet we are losing 827 social rent homes across the borough's four council estate regeneration projects at a time when the need for more social housing is growing.
"We completely support the Mayor's policy of like-for-like replacement of homes on estate regeneration, but in Barnet this is not happening and he is right to intervene.
"The Conservative-run Council is just not getting a good enough deal for Barnet residents from the significant amount of development taking place in the borough, and that needs to change.
"Each social rented home on the estate is a public asset worth around £200,000, so Sadiq is effectively protecting £51m of public assets."
1. For more from Barnet Labour on this issue see: http://www.barnetlabour.org.uk/mayor_tells_barnet_loss_of_518_social_homes_on_grahame_park_is_wholly_unacceptable
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