Mayor rejects 229 home development at Barnet House with just 23 affordable homes

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has ruled that a development for 229 new homes that provides just 23 affordable homes (10 per cent) at Barnet House in Whetstone N20 is "wholly unacceptable" and does not comply with the London Plan.

In a statement to Barnet Council, the Mayor's planning advisor states that "Given the high-density nature of the proposal and the use of a retained building, the 10% affordable housing offer is wholly unacceptable and must be significantly increased."

The planning application submitted by Healey Development Solutions Ltd (Meadow Residential) is a revised version of a proposed development which originally proposed turning the offices in Barnet House into miniscule flats as small as 16 square metres - more than half the national minimum space standard for a single person (37sqm).

The controversial former plans for the 254 flats over eleven floors - 96 per cent of which would have been smaller than 37sqm - were highlighted in a Guardian article in March, and dubbed "rabbit hutch homes" by Labour councillors.

The homes in the revised application now meet the minimum space standard, but do not meet the Mayor's requirement for affordable homes. The 10 per cent affordable housing offered also does not meet Barnet Council's own affordable homes policy of 40 per cent.

The developer must remedy the issues raised by the Mayor, and the application must be referred back to the Mayor by Barnet Council before any further decision is made.

Barnet Labour Group Housing Spokesperson and Deputy Leader, Cllr Ross Houston said: 

"Twenty three affordable homes in a development of over two hundred in a prime high street location within walking distance of a tube station is utterly unacceptable, and the Mayor is completely right to reject it.
 
"We have around 2,600 families living in temporary accommodation, and young people who are struggling to afford their rent or to save to buy a home - but in the last reported year Conservative Barnet Council secured only 12% affordable housing across all developments.
 
"This is just not good enough, so we are delighted that the Mayor is standing up for the residents of Barnet by taking on developers who do not offer enough affordable homes."
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568
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