A major development in north-west London of 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 were rejected by Barnet Council in July 2018 because members of its planning committee felt the scheme was an over-development of the site and would not provide enough affordable housing.The Mayor ‘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 been increased by 120 – to 844 – and the level of affordable has been increased to 41 per cent, including those social rent and London Living Rent levels.
Barnet delivered just 7,670 homes and only 1,645 affordable homes 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, just nine per cent of the homes given planning permission in Barnet were affordable. The scheme approved by the Mayor will provide more affordable homes than were delivered across the whole of Barnet in the year 2017-18.
The Mayor of London, 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. It’s a testament to the hard work of my planning team that, since I called this application in 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."