Redbridge Council vetos 25 storey development in Ilford for not having enough affordable housing
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Redbridge Council sent a clear message to developers by rejecting a planning application on the basis that it did not have enough affordable housing.
A housing officer unveiled plans for a 25 storey building with only 12 affordable units to the council planning committee.
Speaking at Redbridge Town Hall, High Road, Ilford, he said that while the number of affordable homes was “disappointing”, the proposals trumped a deal that had already been granted permission at the location for a hotel and eight units.
“The affordable housing is significantly lower than we would want but we are constrained by policy,” he said.
Addressing the room, Cllr Lloyd Duddridge said that not granting permission for the tower was obviously a gamble, but may be one worth taking.
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“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.
“What I do feel bound by is if it creates affordable homes.
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“It is Russian roulette but I think we should send a signal to developers that we need to build affordable homes.”
Resident Paul Scott addressed the committee and urged them to not pass the plans.
“There is always potential for a better offer,” he said.
“The development will encourage over crowding, more high rise buildings and will block out light.
“It is not good enough.”
Another resident Meenakshi Sharma also spoke at the meeting.
She said that the Ilford town centre plan states a maximum height of 10-15 storeys.
“What is good about these proposals?” she pleaded with the room.
Speaking on behalf of the applicant, the agent working on the case said the development would produce 124 homes for Ilford town centre.
“We have had detailed design discussions with (council) officers over the last 18 months.
“(The plans) are supported by the officers and the Greater London authority (GLA).”
Cllr Gwyneth Deakins was still on the fence about granting permission and said she could be persuaded either way.
“Will all the caveats, and there are many, I would be inclined to agree to this (development) to avoid something worse.”
Five councillors voted in favour of the development and five against with one abstaining.
The casting vote by the chairman of the committee sealed the development’s fate and planning permission was not granted.