Refusal recommended for White City Affordable Homes Increase
A planning amendment by Berkeley St James to the London Borough of Hammersmith & Fulham to increase the height and thus, the number of affordable homes has been recommended for refusal by the Greater London Authority.
Proposals submitted by St James proposed amendments to the outline competent of the White City Living masterplan with a Section 73 planning amendment. In essence, the scheme sought to increase the heights of plots C1 and D1.
These formed part of phases four and five of the 1,845 new home scheme north of the Westfield London shopping centre, the scheme currently underway was previously used by the retailer Marks & Spencer as a 21,800 square metre warehouse that the retailer utilised as a mock layout store.
The S73 amendments if approved would have increased the housing offering by 185 which included the 65 affordable residential units across intermediate and affordable tenures with a policy-compliant 60/40% split between the respective tenures.
This would have raised the total new housing delivery to 2,030 new housing units for the wider masterplan, which is targeted for completion in 2029 across the housing lead scheme.
The scheme forms part of the White City Opportunity Area, which is currently the biggest contributor to the new housing supply within Hammersmith & Fulham. This scheme when completed will enable new active travel links from the expanded Westfield London shopping centre in the south to Imperial College’s satellite campus to the north of the Westway elevated motorway.
Whilst the scheme is compliant in terms of the number and thus affordable housing pentile within the planning amendment, the developer is not able to use the “fast track” for schemes that are policy compliant for affordable housing as it has not outlined the specific type of affordable housing that would be provided if approved. The applicant borough’s local plan states that 60% should be social/affordable rent and 40% intermediate.
Plans are currently under consideration by the local councils planners with a decision due within the next few months.