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Ilford skyline set to change after 25-storey Metro Tower approved

PUBLISHED: 09:55 01 November 2018 | UPDATED: 12:36 01 November 2018

Developers said Metro Tower will have 17.5pc affordable housing. Photo: Google

Developers said Metro Tower will have 17.5pc affordable housing. Photo: Google

Archant

A 25-storey tower will be constructed in Ilford after Redbridge Council voted in favour of it.

Metro Tower, High Road, will be built opposite Lynton House and will be made of three structures, 25, 12 and six storeys in height.

Speaking at the planning committee on Wednesday, October 31, Councillor Ruth Clark said the development was not a landmark and residents would have to live with it for years.

“Going on policy this is double the density,” she said.

“I can’t believe we are even looking at something which is double the recommended density of the London Plan.

“Why even bother having a London Plan, let’s just build what we like.

“You call it a landmark, I call it horrible.”

A council officer said the density does not have to be applied “mechanically” and other schemes in London have been built with higher density then stated in the plan.

He advised the room to not look over the whole application, but just to assess the new affordable housing offer as this is the reason the tower was previously vetoed in 2017.

Last year former councillor Lloyd Duddridge said he would not be held over a barrel by developers to push through any old plan and he wanted to send a message by not approving it.

“I know we are held over a barrel from 2008 (when a hotel and eight affordable units were approved) but I wasn’t here in 2008 and I don’t feel bound by it,” he said.

“What I do feel bound by is if it creates affordable homes.

“It is Russian roulette but I think we should send a signal to developers that we need to build affordable homes.”

At the 2018 meeting, the applicant said the new offer of affordable housing has been increased to 17.5per cent, and 20.4pc by “habitable room”.

He also said that if market rates improve, the amount of affordable housing will be reassessed and more will be offered.

Two residents spoke at the meeting against the development.

Philip Barker said the affordable housing quota is for shared ownership and he said this coupled with building service charges will mean the tower is out of reach for the average resident, nevermind people who are on a low income who desperately need housing.

He also said tall buildings are more expensive to build.

Six committee members voted in favour of Metro Tower, two against and two abstained.

The decision will be reviewed by the Mayor of London’s office.

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