Sunday, 25 June 2017

Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> the 'viability' of affordable housing obligations

Tomorrow sees an exhibition at Kennaway House by the consultants for the future development at Port Royal:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> Scoping Study consultation >> exhibition Mon 26th and Tues 27th June >> plus survey

The promise is for 'mixed development' - and there are some really inspiring ideas out there:
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: ideas for 'mixed use' projects >>> Burlington's Lake Champlain
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: ideas for 'mixed use' projects >>> the Beddington Zero Energy Development

The outline plans in the Local Plan ask for 30 housing units - 50% of which should be 'affordable':
Futures Forum: Plans for Port Royal: anticipating a Regeneration Board >> affordable housing at Eastern Town

Planning officers have pushed for similar levels in other developments in the Valley - but not in others:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: and "sheer hypocrisy" >>> District Council planning officers reject the Green Close development over affordable housing and overage

The problem is that developers have a knack of bringing these numbers down - as has happened, with the agreement of planning officers, at Knowle:
Futures Forum: Knowle relocation project: planning application to be considered by District Council: Tuesday 6th December >>> planning officers brush aside planning policies
Futures Forum: Knowle Relocation Project: How to classify the proposed development: as C3 housing or as C2 care home?

It's all about 'viability' - as this consultancy points out:

This is not an adversarial process because every policy calling for Section 106 Affordable Housing is dependent on viability. 

A properly presented Section 106 viability report is welcomed by planners at any stage and will speed the decision making process

Section 106 Management : Section 106 | Frequently Asked Questions | Section 106 Agreements

It's a huge problem particularly in London to get any affordable housing agreed to:
Futures Forum: "Viability assessments conclusively prove that we cannot rely on developers to build affordable housing."
Futures Forum: "Some developers use viability reports to wriggle out of building more 'affordable' housing."

For example:
Developer offers one affordable home in 28-unit petrol station redevelopment in Brighton Road, Surbiton (From Times Series)

The explosive political issues round the Grenfell Tower tragedy has brought into sharp focus the 'problem' of having a 'mixed development' of very expensive flats alongside affordable housing:

Residents of the luxury development in Kensington, in which Grenfell families are due to be rehoused, have been criticised after voicing their anger and unease over the move.

Speaking to The Guardian, one woman said:
“We paid a lot of money to live here, and we worked hard for it. Now these people are going to come along, and they won’t even be paying the service charge.”

Another said: "I’m very sad that people have lost their homes, but there are a lot of people here who have bought flats and will now see the values drop. It will degrade things. And it opens up a can of worms in the housing market."

The private flats in the block start at £1.5m, however the apartments that will rehouse the families are part of the 120 affordable homes being built alongside them. Penthouses in the development are expected to go for £13m, and flats in the building are expected to be purchased to permanently house Grenfell families.

Luxury flat owners criticised for unease over Grenfell families moving into their development - Telegraph

Things are getting very political indeed:
Jeremy Corbyn says he's calling for people to 'campaign like never before' for housing justice following Grenfell Tower tragedy - NME

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