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London Mayor refuses permission for major scheme over loss of affordable homes

The Mayor of London has refused permission for an estate regeneration project in Barnet which he said would result in the net loss of 257 affordable homes.

Sadiq Khan described the scheme as “a classic example of how not to do estate regeneration”.

His decision related to a scheme to redevelop the Grahame Park estate in Colindale. This included plans to demolish 692 homes currently available at social rent and replace them with 435.

The planning application was approved by Barnet Council last month.

The Mayor said he had told the council it must replace the lost affordable homes.

The application was also deemed unacceptable because it failed to provide a minimum of £840,000 to deliver additional bus capacity and suitable alternatives to private car use.

Khan said: “I fully support improving social housing on this estate and across the capital, but this scheme falls far short of what I expect of London boroughs.

“As I have made clear in my new London Plan, estate regeneration projects must replace homes which are based on social rent levels on a like-for-like basis. Londoners so urgently need more high-quality housing, not less, which makes this scheme completely unacceptable in its current form.

“I have asked Barnet Council to work constructively with the applicant on alternative plans with greater density, which do not result in the net loss of affordable homes. Given its recent record in this area, I hope the council recognises the need to replace what would be lost at Grahame Park.”

A Barnet Council spokesperson said: “We are clearly disappointed by this decision. We will now be reviewing this with our development partner to agree the next steps.”

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