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Mayor of London’s office refuses luxury retirement complex plans

Jules Pipe

Plans for a luxury retirement development in Kensington and Chelsea have been refused on the grounds that they fail to provide enough affordable housing.

The Mayor of London’s office refused the plans, which included 142 homes with extra care, on the grounds that they included just five affordable homes, or 3.3% of the total properties. London Mayor Sadiq Khan has said he wants affordable housing to account for 35% of new housing developments.

Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, Jules Pipe, (pictured) said: “While we agree there is the need for retirement properties in this area, the Mayor and I are clear that developments of this kind should always meet his minimum target for affordable housing.

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“In light of the evidence available to me, and given Kensington and Chelsea’s recent track record in failing to provide enough genuinely affordable homes across the borough, I have decided to refuse this application.

“We welcome the provision of retirement housing and we hope the applicant submits a revised application with an appropriate level of affordable homes.”

The scheme included homes priced at an average of £3.6m and three houses valued at up to £12m.

Johnny Sandelson, a partner at developer, Westbourne Capital Partners, told the Guardian he would ask housing secretary, James Brokenshire, to overturn the Mayor’s decision.

The developer said the scheme would not have been commercially viable with more than five affordable homes.

Will Pascall, borough councillor in charge of planning, said: “We are disappointed the Mayor would aim to deny vulnerable older people the chance to live in one of the 150 much-needed extra care homes this development would create. We ask the Mayor to be reasonable and help older people find a suitable home for themselves in their local area when they retire.”

Mr Pascall said more than 400 affordable homes had been built in the borough between 2014 and 2018 and the council planned to build 600 council homes.

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The author Lee Peart

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