Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has told Barnet Council that the net loss of 518 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.
In a letter to the Council, the Mayor's planning representative states that "The Mayor's Affordable Housing and Viability 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)."
The letter goes on to say that "...it is assessed that the scheme could be undervalued by around £17 million and therefore it is reasonable to consider that the application could provide a mix that includes more social rented housing.
The proposals would involve a significant loss of social rented units within this phase, and the wider programme is likely to deliver a very significant loss of social housing unless the current application is amended to address this."
Barnet Council must either remedy the deficiencies or re-consult the Mayor if they decide to agree the planning application without changes. The Mayor can then decide whether to allow this, or direct the Council to refuse the application, or determine the application himself.
Labour's Housing spokesperson & Deputy Leader, Cllr Ross Houston said:
“At last London has a Mayor who will stand up on behalf of tenants and families desperately in need of affordable homes. I am very pleased that the Mayor has told the Barnet Tories that this loss of social homes is “wholly unacceptable”. There are 2,757 homeless families in Barnet that the Council is struggling to re-house in the borough. Barnet Labour have again and again pressed for like-for-like replacement.
"Just this week we have seen a headline that 28 families will be relocated to properties the Council has bought in Peterborough because they cannot afford to re-house them in Barnet.
“This shows once again just how the Barnet Tories are not getting a good deal for Barnet’s residents from developers - they are letting local families down. To go from 557 to 39 social rent homes is a disgrace.”
1. Link to press article in Peterborough Telegraph about Barnet families being re-located: http://www.peterboroughtoday.co.uk/news/anger-as-barnet-s-homeless-move-to-peterborough-1-8162369
For more information contact Cllr Ross Houston: firstname.lastname@example.org
To contact the Barnet Labour Group: 020 8359 2568