Affordable home increase of 775% proposed for Idyllic Ilford Car Park

Detailed revised plans have been submitted to the London Borough of Ilford (LBI), for the redevelopment of the Sainsbury’s supermarket and associated car parking in the heart of Ilford Town Centre.

Proposals designed by lead project architects HTA Design on behalf of their client Telford Homes, propose an increase in affordable housing from 4% contained within the 2015 proposal to a London Plan compliant 35% for the 2022 modified second proposal.

The 2015 proposal was refused following a 4-4 tie at Redbridge Council, however, this was subsequently overturned by the then Secretary of State for Housing, Communities, and Local Government Sajid Javid in March 2018.

If the scheme was built this would have develiered a mislay of 27 new income-restricted units, despite a need for 15,000 such new homes across the borough.

Initial proposals for Sainsbury’s Ilford, image credit Unit Architects.

The decision to approve the 683 new home scheme was branded “outrageous” and said 4% was a “disgraceful” contribution. Javid’s report concluded: “There is no good reason to dispute the agreed conclusions of the financial experts.”

This is juxtaposed with Javid giving a speech insisting that it was “totally unacceptable” for developers to claim they cannot afford to meet affordable housing promises. He said: “It cheats communities of much-needed housing and infrastructure and gives new development a bad name.”

But in this case, where Sainsbury’s never promised more than 4%, he has allowed the developer to hugely undershoot the local target. However, Sainsbury’s insisted that the number of homes provided at this time provided 60% of the housing target for that borough in one year.

Redbridge Council decided to support the scheme despite initially rejecting the scheme, and branded the ruling good news for local residents who “are set to benefit from more affordable housing”. It suggested a clause that states that “if viability were to improve, the affordable housing offer would improve proportionately” and could lead to cheaper homes than the 4%.

Public realm proposals for Sainsbury’s Ilford proposal

Proposals submitted last month include most notably the huge increase in affordable homes within a 10-minute walk of an Elizabeth Line station and the borough’s principal town centre, which also delivers a net reduction in car parking spaces inclusive of the retained albeit slightly smaller Sainsbury’s.

A key design change is the removal of the central podium that would have dominated the site of the previous scheme, with this scheme opting for pedestrian routes and public spaces in between the buildings themselves.

An interesting trend over the last 5 years is the increased number of purpose-built student accommodations in more suburban town centres, this development providing 447 student bedrooms to the eastern edge of the site.

The site at 55 Roden Road is in the centre of an area planned for numerous tall buildings including a 42-floor tower containing 380 homes proposed by a nationwide self-storage provider.

The local planning authority has also since last summer been looking for a private developer to form a joint venture with to deliver 1,000 new homes on the site it calls Western Gateway, which includes the realignment of the gyratory road network.

Landscape strategy of the Ilford Western Gateway spital planning framework, image credit Redbridge Council.