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Plans blocked after developer fails to provide funds for affordable housing

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Plans blocked after developer fails to provide funds for affordable housing

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Legal, Local Government

Plans blocked after developer fails to provide funds for affordable housing Plans blocked after developer fails to provide funds for affordable housing

A developer's plans have been blocked after it failed to provide sufficient funding for affordable housing.

The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea refused Illona House Securities permission to build a cinema, shop and 11 flats on King's Road because the developer didn't fully honour its section 106 obligations.

At a public inquiry in April, planning inspector Jessica Graham was asked to consider whether the scheme made a sufficient financial contribution towards affordable housing.

The developer told the hearing that the section 106 included an obligation to pay a contribution of up to £200,000.

But the council argued that the development could provide a surplus of over £1 million towards the provision of social housing.

Dismissing the appeal, Ms Graham found that £200,000 would fall a long way short of the “maximum reasonable amount” that could be contributed toward affordable housing.

The inspector agreed with the council that some of the key assumptions in Illona House Securities' financial viability statement were wrongly balanced in its favour to reduce the funding available for affordable housing, including interest rates, necessary profit, contingency costs and land valuation.

Ms Graham said: “There remains an identified surplus of over £1m, which could contribute toward the provision of affordable housing in the borough. I regard this figure as more indicative of the maximum reasonable amount.”

The council's cabinet member for planning policy, cllr Timothy Coleridge, said: “This decision supports the Council’s rigorous approach. Developers should be clear that we will leave no stone unturned to make sure we get as much affordable housing as we can as part of new developments.”

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