Tuesday 19 December 2017

London Mayor torpedoes Barnet's Grahame Park regeneration citing loss of affordable homes

From Construction News LINK

Sadiq Khan has rejected plans for a housing estate regeneration project in north London on the basis that affordable homes will be lost.
The mayor of London said the scheme in Barnet is “a classic example of how not to do estate regeneration”.

The project at the 1970s Grahame Park estate in Colindale includes plans to demolish 692 homes available at social rent and replace them with 1,083 units.

But only 435 of the new homes will be available for social tenants within what is Barnet’s largest housing estate.

Barnet Council approved the scheme, which is being developed by Genesis Housing Association, last month.

However, Mr Khan said after considering the evidence, the council must now work with City Hall planners to redesign the project.

It is the second time this year the mayor has intervened in Barnet, having called in the council’s decision to refuse Barratt permission for 462 homes in May.

The mayor said: “I fully support improving social housing on this estate and across the capital, but this scheme falls far short of what I expect of London boroughs.”

Mr Khan pointed to his London Plan, published last month, which said estate regeneration projects must replace homes for social rent on a like-for-like basis.

He added: “Londoners so urgently need more high-quality housing, not less, which makes this scheme completely unacceptable in its current form.”

Housing estate regeneration is a major issue in the capital, with Haringey Council facing fierce opposition to its £2bn plans to regenerate part of Wood Green in north London.

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “We are clearly disappointed by this decision. We will now be reviewing this with our development partner to agree the next steps.”

A Genesis spokesperson said: “We are very disappointed to hear this decision and are in close dialogue with Barnet Council and the mayor’s office to review next steps.”


Genesis Housing Association is associated with the Brent House development where only 30% of units are 'affordable' (ie unaffordable to most local families at up to 80% market rent) and the controversial Minavil House development where  'affordable' is 60% of market rent but only 13% of the units.  It is also facing a campaign by tenants over the merger with Notting Hill Housing Trust and its move away from its original remit of providing housing at social rent.

It will be interesting to see how Mr Khan treats applications from Brent which don't offer Londoners more high quality homes at social rent.


Adele Ward said...

I wonder when he's going to do something about the Whitefield Estate where CPOs have been served so it can be demolished to allow Brent Cross Shopping Centre to be developed into a mega-mall with mainly new private flats around it.

Martin Francis said...

Yes, he's really got to get a grip on this - and Labour Councils as well.

Alison Hopkins said...

Adele, you're so right. And it's not "just" the flats - the whole scheme is deeply flawed. I've met Whitefields residents who are utterly devastated, both tenants and leaseholders.