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  6. Pickles refuses major mixed-use scheme in London

Pickles refuses major mixed-use scheme in London

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles has refused to allow on appeal a major mixed-use development in north-east London involving over 560 new homes, shops, and community facilities partly because of flaws in the section 106 undertaking proposed by the developer.

The planning inspector who heard the appeal inquiry last year recommended that the scheme by developer Hadley Homes should go ahead. The proposals, for land at the Kimberley industrial estate in Billet Road, had been refused permission by Walthamstow Council because of concern over its design and residential density and the proportion of affordable housing on offer.

The minister’s decision letter made it clear that he believed the developer’s offer of 20 per cent affordable housing was acceptable in the current economic conditions. He did not support the council’s 40 per cent requirement.

But he was adamant that the undertaking offered by the developer was flawed. The SoS said it covered an area smaller than that of the planning application, involved a separate deed obligating the council, did not specify the identity of a social housing provider prepared to cooperate with scheme and lacked a proper definition of the phasing arrangements to be involved.

He concluded that the failure to comply with London Plan guidance on density was critical and the shortcomings of the undertakings were “potentially so serious” that refusal was fully justified.

Download the decision letter.

Roger Milne

12 May 2011