At the start of November, Ken Livingston, the Mayor of London, directed Bromley Council to refuse planning permission for the new Tesco store, as it did not meet the requirements for affordable housing set down in the London Plan. After negotiations, Tesco agreed to double the number of new homes for social rent, from 15 to 27. The other 11 homes will be shared ownership units. The Mayor welcomed the agreement and allowed Bromley Council to issue planning permission.
In his press release Ken Livingstone said:
This shows how effectively we can use the planning system to provide much-needed new homes for social rent. It is particularly important that my planning powers give me the opportunity to negotiate with developers. Because of that, this development will now go ahead, and 27 families in need will have what so many Londoners take for granted: a home. This is especially important in a borough like Bromley, where the stock of social rented housing is so dangerously low.
This is good news for Orpington. The trebling of house prices and rents since 1997 has made it impossible for most young couples to make a home in the area and also prevent many residents from moving to the larger homes that their growing families need.
Affordable housing schemes — social rented, shared ownership, prices pegged to local earnings, etc. — are the solution. They strengthen communities by providing secure homes for the young families who need them most, and help bring stability to overall house prices and rents.
Why is it that high prices of cars, food, clothes, etc. are a sign of ‘rip off Britain’, but so many see high housing costs as a good thing?