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Mayor approves 1,000 homes as part of Westfield expansion but under 15% will be 'affordable'

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Mayor approves 1,000 homes as part of Westfield expansion but under 15% will be 'affordable'

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Published by Jon Land for 24dash.com in Local Government and also in Housing

Mayor approves 1,000 homes as part of Westfield expansion but under 15% will be 'affordable' Mayor approves 1,000 homes as part of Westfield expansion but under 15% will be 'affordable'

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson has approved plans to extend the Westfield Shopping Centre in Shepherds Bush and build more than 1,300 homes.

The £1 billion scheme will be anchored by a John Lewis department store, the first in west London. The development will also include restaurants and cafes, office space, a children’s play space and a new leisure complex. It is expected that the expansion will create around 6,700 permanent new jobs.

Developer, Westfield Shoppingtowns Ltd will build 1,347 homes but only 162 of them will be classified 'affordable' (40% 'social rent'). This number could increase subject to viability assessments.

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson said: “Westfield has had a transformational impact on Shepherds Bush and White City, kickstarting widespread social and economic regeneration. This expansion will create thousands of much-needed new homes and jobs and ensure that the area remains one of West London’s leading shopping destinations for many years to come.”

The 230,000 sq ft John Lewis store will operate over four floors, creating approximately 600 new jobs.

Tim Harrison, head of format development at John Lewis said "This is very positive news. We look forward to bringing our offer closer to customers in West London. We will continue to work closely with Westfield during the next design stage and towards delivery of the shop for 2017."

The development sits within the White City Opportunity Area – one of more than 30 areas designated by the Mayor with significant capacity for new housing, commercial and other development.

The Opportunity Area seeks to build on White City’s heritage in creative, media and entertainment industries. Other elements include the redevelopment of the former BBC Television Centre in Wood Lane and a new campus for Imperial College, Imperial West. In total, there is capacity for 5,000 homes and 10,000 jobs.

London Assembly Green Party Member Darren Johnson, said: “This outrageous decision puts the interests of rich property developers before Londoners who need affordable housing.

"We need property and land taxes to dampen demand from the super-rich, a much higher level of investment in affordable housing, and regulations to protect those left renting privately from investor landlords.

"City Hall recently produced new research on London’s housing needs. To fix our housing problems over the next ten years it suggested we needed to build 62,000 homes a year, of which 41,000 should be affordable homes. So two thirds should be affordable homes.

"But the Mayor keeps signing off developments like the Westfield expansion that are a long way from providing this.”

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