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Mayor Steps In To Double Affordable Housing In Mill Hill Scheme
Affordable housing on site doubled to 40 per cent after plans for north London scheme ‘called in’ by Mayor
More than 100 trees saved from removal and more new trees planted
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has today approved a major new 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, underlining 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.
When the Mayor first saw the plans in December 2016, they included just 20 per cent affordable housing – 92 homes, all of which were for shared ownership. Earlier this year the Mayor ‘called in’ the planning application and has now secured twice as much (40 per cent) affordable housing on the site - 185 homes, including 131 for shared ownership and 54 at social rent levels.
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.”
Since he took office, the Mayor has implemented a tough new approach to housing delivery. In the first few months of his Mayoralty he recruited a team of experts to scrutinise developers’ use of ‘viability studies’ as a way of cutting numbers of affordable homes.
Earlier this year, he published his Affordable Housing and Viability SPG, which offers a surer, quicker route through the planning process for developments with least 35 per cent affordable housing.
The new approach has already had an impact: 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.