Development FinanceNews

‘Fully-affordable’ development planned

A ‘fully-affordable’ 26-story residential tower in Ealing, West London has been turned in for planning approval after an extended negotiation with landowners.

Southern Grove and its partner Metropolitan Thames Valley Housing Association will ensure every apartment in the tower named ‘55 West’, is classed as ‘affordable’ to buy under London Shared Ownership or subject to London Living Rent.

Andrew Southern, chairman of developer Southern Grove, said: “We have chosen to begin looking at sites not just from a policy compliant view but with the belief that, given the scale of the problem, provision of affordable homes in design-led properties should be an aspiration rather than a chore.

“So, it’s decision time for London. Are we serious about meeting housing need and creating genuinely desirable, affordable homes, or is it just something politicians are going to continue paying lip service to?

“In a city like London everyone must accept that building higher is the only way to generate the numbers of homes required. So, if we’ve got to do it, let’s do it well.

“Planners should be looking at a much more long-term horizon, embracing excellent design and discovering a renewed appetite for buildings that inspire rather than blot the landscape.”

Southern said that 100% fully affordable towers will be the future of London’s housing solution around key transport links in the future, but it will require a renewed appetite for well-designed high rises.

Southern added: “The Mayor has spelled out that the housing emergency in London means that it is essential that good quality, affordable housing is built in high densities on top of London’s major transport nodes.

“Affordability is still a huge problem in London, but the fact these apartments are all affordable is a huge win for key workers and households on low incomes.

“The costs and risks associated with structuring deals in these new and innovative ways to increase the share of affordable housing is what differentiates us from the big house builders who are landbanking and stemming the tide of home creation to maximise profit.

“Planners need to meet those developers who innovate to create the greatest proportion of affordable homes halfway.”

55 West will open up 149 prime apartments to residents paying either the London Living Rent, approximately 60% of market rates, or using London Shared Ownership.

The application is expected to go to a planning committee for a decision by the end of November 2019.


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