Comment from Philip Grant in a personal capacityL
Brent's Head of Planning has issued a letter on 18 August 2022 granting consent to the change from London Affordable Rent to Shared Ownership for 24 homes in the new Watling Gardens scheme.
I've included an extract from the Final Delegated Report on which the decision was based, but basically Brent's planners are saying that both LAR and Shared Ownership are "Affordable Housing".
They also say that as there is (or was, in 2018) an identified need for Shared Ownership homes in the borough, it doesn't matter that the Council wants to replace homes which would be "genuinely affordable" with homes which require the shared-ownership lessee to have an annual income of up to £60k!
This argument ignores the fact that there are thousands of people on Brent's housing / homeless list who need genuinely affordable housing, and that Brent's planners have approved hundreds of other shared ownership flats as part of the "affordable housing" requirement on applications by private developers or housing associations in recent years'
'Regarding comments on the affordability of intermediate units for Brent residents, the definition of 'Affordable' comes from the Brent Local Plan, London Plan and NPPF. Intermediate (Shared Ownership) is treated as an Affordable Housing product in Brent, but the significant need for those on lower incomes is recognised by the 70 % target for Social / LAR homes.
However the Brent Strategic Housing Market Assessment (2018), which forms part of the evidence base shaping the housing policies contained in the Local Plan, outlines that there is a proportion of residents within the Borough who require homes which would be classified at an Intermediate level. Therefore, introducing an element of shared ownership units into the proposal ensures this need is met.
For these reasons, it is considered that the proposal is consistent with the non-material amendment procedure as there would be no material change to the type or quantum of development approved under the original permission, nor the overall amount of affordable housing which will remain at 100%.'