NEWHAM COULD BE building over 1,000 extra affordable homes in the next four years, thanks to an agreement between Newham Mayor Sir Robin Wales and London Mayor Sadiq Khan.
The Mayor of London owns a site in Stephenson Street, Canning Town – which was previously a Parcel Force depot. When Tory Boris Johnson was Mayor, he arranged for Berkeley Homes to build 3,800 properties on the site. These would be built in stages over ten years, together with necessary infrastructure such as a secondary school and a community centre.
Boris Johnson’s agreement with Berkeley Homes required the builders to make 35% of the homes they built affordable – in line with Mayor Johnson’s standard requirement. However, Sadiq Khan has a policy of trying to get 50% of affordable homes in new developments – 15% more.
It’s difficult to fiddle about with the agreement between Boris and Berkeley, so the two Labour mayors have worked out another way of making up the shortfall. Sadiq will give Newham a grant equivalent to the value of 15% of affordable housing on the Canning Town site – around £40 million. In return, Sir Robin will agree that Newham Council will arrange for just over 1,000 homes to be built somewhere in Newham.
The arrangement will be put into place once Newham Council has agreed a planning application from Berkeley Homes to get the Canning Town building underway.
Welcoming the deal, Sir Robin said, “I am delighted to have worked on a deal with Sadiq Khan that is set to see Newham receive a £40 million housing grant that would greatly benefit the people of Newham by offering them access to more affordable housing. It would help us achieve our target of thousands of new homes and the Mayor of London’s target of 90,000 new affordable homes by 2021.
“Newham Council is doing all it can to increase the number of affordable homes in the borough. Mayor Khan recognises that Newham did not get the full legacy benefits from the 2012 Olympic Games and Paralympic Games, particularly in housing. We are working together to right the wrongs of the previous administration at City Hall.”