London Mayor Sadiq Khan intervenes in borough’s planning decision to boost affordable housing

The Mayor of London picks up the housing baton to increase affordable units on new site

Sadiq Khan has used his influence to boost the number of affordable homes proposed by a developer of the new Kensington Forum Hotel.

The original planning proposal submitted to Kensington and Chelsea borough was rejected in September 2018.  London’s Mayor decided to take on the application last November.

As a direct result of Sadiq Khan’s intervention, the number of homes to be built on the new development has risen from 20 to a total of 62 affordable new homes.  All the units will be offered to Londoners on low incomes at social rent levels.

The 62 homes will provide 100 per cent affordable housing, unlike the original proposal that planned for only 20 affordable homes of a total number of 46.

New Kensington hotel will pull in more visitors

The new development will include a 749 bedroom hotel and 340 serviced apartments.  Positioned within walking distance of the capital’s parks and famous museums in Kensington, the development is aimed at attracting more visitors into the royal borough.

London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan said: “I welcome the developer committing to provide 100 per cent social housing in this scheme in a borough that has consistently failed to meet its housing targets. I’m clear that I will do everything in my power to increase the delivery of new social rented and other genuinely affordable homes across the capital.”

In previous years, Kensington and Chelsea borough council has held a poor track record when it comes to granting planning permission for affordable homes. In 2017 it failed to approve any and up until April 2018, it was responsible for approving only 89 new affordable homes throughout the borough.

London Mayor not afraid to intervene on borough’s planning decisions

This not the first time that the Mayor has ‘called in’ a decision by the borough.  Last September, after the borough’s refusal, the Mayor gave permission for Newcombe House in Notting Hill to go ahead and agreed for the volume of affordable homes to more than double to 35% from 17%.

Mayor wants to protect residents and enhance visitors’ experience of London

Sadiq Khan said: “Having considered all the evidence available to me, I have decided to approve this application.  In recent years, Kensington and Chelsea has consistently failed to meet our housing targets and I have pushed my planning powers to their limits in order to deliver more affordable homes in the borough.  It’s vital we give all visitors the best possible experience throughout their stay in London. These plans also include hundreds of new hotel rooms, which is critical to maintaining the capital’s status as a leading global tourist destination.”

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