Khan rejects plans for luxury residential scheme over affordable housing quote

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has rejected a planning amendment that would have lowered the proportion of affordable homes as part of the £1bn New Scotland Yard mixed-use scheme in London.

The Squire & Partners-designed development, Ten Broadway, will see six new buildings providing residential, office and retail uses replace the existing 1960s Metropolitan Police HQ. It was granted permission by outgoing mayor Boris Johnson in 2016 despite offering just 10 affordable homes (four per cent of the 268 units in total).

But new proposals recently lodged by developer BL Developments had been rejected by Khan because they sought to increase the total number of homes to 295 without a rise in the affordable housing, meaning the proportion of affordable homes would fall to three per cent.

Khan said:

“The scheme put forward for this site is simply unacceptable: it fails to provide the maximum amount of affordable housing that could be delivered on this landmark site, and follows a previous application in which the affordable housing provision agreed by the previous Mayor was already appallingly low.”

Earlier this year the mayor published his Supplementary Planning Guidance on viability and affordable housing, which said that developers offering at least 35 per cent affordable housing without public subsidy could expect a quicker, more certain route through the planning system.

Khan’s decision is said to be part of wider efforts to tackle London’s housing crisis. Earlier this week he wrote to the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, Sajid Javid, urging the government to allow increased council tax charges on empty properties in central London.