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25-storey ‘Metro Tower’ proposed for Ilford town centre – with 17.5pc ‘affordable’ housing

PUBLISHED: 17:00 24 October 2018 | UPDATED: 17:06 24 October 2018

Planning application 2151/18 proposes the creation of three buildings, one of them 25 storeys, on the site of 226 to 244 High Road, Ilford. Photo: Google

Planning application 2151/18 proposes the creation of three buildings, one of them 25 storeys, on the site of 226 to 244 High Road, Ilford. Photo: Google

Archant

A 25-storey block of flats dubbed “Metro Tower” could be built in Ilford town centre if a planning application gets the green light.

Redbridge Council’s planning committee is set to consider an application from developer Xyan Holdings on Wednesday, October 31 to erect three buildings - one 25 storeys, another 12 storeys and a third six storeys – at 226 to 244 High Road.

Council documents indicate the buildings would consist of eight studio flats as well as 38 one-bed, 70 two-bed, and four three-bed apartments.

Of those 120 flats, 21 (17.5per cent) are proposed to be “affordable”.

This is made of up four three-bed flats which would be available at the “London Affordable Rent” (LAR) and 17 shared ownership apartments.

The Mayor of London sets benchmarks for LAR annually and in 2017-18 this was set at £152.73 a week for 2017/18.

In 2016, Xyan Holdings submitted an application for a similar scheme (ref: 4462/16) which was rejected as a previous affordable housing target 9.7pc was deemed to have “fail[ed] to reflect the identified significant and unmet need for affordable housing”.

Xyan Holdings’ appeal against the decision is being considered by the planning inspectorate.

In the latest application (ref: 2151/18), the figure of 17.5pc affordable housing was arrived at following a “financial viability assessment” as the maximum the developer could offer.

The proposed tower blocks would sit between the existing Raphael House and Kataria Point housing schemes and would provide more than 530sq metres of commercial floor space on the ground and first floors.

Two public spaces - totalling 259 sq metres - are also included in the proposal along with storage for about 218 bicycles.

Three representations have so far been submitted – one in favour and two against.

Among the reasons cited in the objection letters are concern around overcrowding in Ilford town centre and that the amount of affordable housing on offer remains “very low”.

One person also criticised the quality of the building’s appearance as well as the level of community consultation in the project.

However another person said: “I like the project.”

He added: “More good quality housing could attract new residents to Ilford, transforming the town centre into a cleaner, friendlier place to live.”

The meeting will take place at Redbridge Town Hall, in High Road, Ilford, at 7.15pm.

If approved, the scheme will be subject to an S106 legal agreement and referred to the Mayor of London for final approval.

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