A major development in north west London creating 844 new homes – of which 41% will be affordable – has been approved by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan.
Plans to redevelop the disused Pentavia Retail Park in Mill Hill, Barnet, were rejected by the local council in July 2018 due to the members of its planning committee felt the scheme was an over-development of the site and would not provide enough affordable housing.
Sadiq Khan “called in” the application last November in order to subject it to further scrutiny before making a decision.
The original application included 724 homes, of which 35% would be affordable. Following the Mayor’s intervention, the number of homes has increased to 844 from 724 and the level of affordable has been increased by 41% including social rent and London Living Rent levels.
Barnet delivered 7,670 homes and 1,645 of those were “affordable” between 2012 and 2017, which was well below the targets set out in the London Plan, the capital’s planning bible. Between 2014 and 2017, 9% of the homes given planning permission in Barnet were affordable.
The new scheme will provide more affordable homes than were delivered across the whole of Barnet in 2017-18.
Sadiq Khan said: “ This is a classic example of an underused site with the potential to deliver significant numbers of homes, including affordable homes at social rent and London Living Rent levels.
“I’m clear that I will use all the levers at my disposal to increase the delivery of new genuinely affordable homes across the capital.”
He added: ““It’s a testament to the hard work of my planning team that, since I called this application for further scrutiny, they have been able to increase the level of affordable housing even higher than it was previously.
“As such, having considered all the evidence available to me, I’ve decided to approve this application.”