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London Mayor slams council decision to cut affordable homes at Battersea

Mayor Sadiq Khan has criticised Wandsworth Council for allowing the Battersea development to cut the number of affordable homes.

The revamped Battersea Power Station on the Thames is one of London’s largest residential developments costing £9 billion to build 4,239 new flats with 636 affordable homes.

Properties would be available to first time buyers, home movers and overseas investors so it is important to offer something back to local residents and renters.

Sadiq Khan has slammed Wandsworth Council decision to allow the developer, BNP Paribas, to reduce the number of affordable homes by 40% to only 386.

The Malaysian-led property consortium cited “technical issues” restoring the Grade II listed power station, rising costs, the fall in the pound and economic uncertainty due to Brexit impacting the luxury housing market.

With competition from buy-to-let investors and reduced supply of suitable properties, prospective home buyers must continue renting and saving for a bigger deposit.

Mayor angry with the decision

London’s Mayor Sadiq Khan said, When Wandsworth Council waved through the developer's request to slash affordable housing at Battersea Power Station, I made very clear their decision was letting Londoners down.

Mr Khan also referred to the viability of the scheme which shows the Malaysian-led property consortium will make a £1.8 billion profit.

The original agreement was for 636 affordable flats or 15% of the development offering locals a 40% discount on the average market rent for the area.

The availability of affordable homes is important if you are a first time buyer as otherwise you would require a higher deposit, larger mortgage or higher earnings to purchase your first home.

Prices for the development range from £460,000 for a studio up to £4 million for a four bedroom flat with 90% of the 1,661 marketed homes having been sold.

The lack of new properties could mean remortgage buyers staying in their current property and increasing their mortgage to releasing capital which they can use to improve their home.

City hall has said it does not have the power to stop the reduction in the number of affordable homes as the project as the developer is allowed to vary the terms with the approval of Wandsworth Council.

Affordable homes to start sooner

The affordable homes would be built over the 15-year project and since announcing the reduction the developers have agreed to finish these flats sooner.

All 386 affordable homes are due to start building this year which is three years earlier than expected with the apartment blocks located close to the power station.

BNP Paribas developing the site said the remaining 250 affordable homes would only be built after the end of the project review and assessment of profits although it was very unlikely these would now be completed.

Major Sadiq Khan will be writing to Wandsworth planning committee urging them to thoroughly scrutinise the application.

Out of the 33 London boroughs, Wandsworth supplied the second largest number of affordable homes and they said they would not reduce the potential low cost homes unless the case was overwhelming.

Help with the deposit for a new home in London can come from family members as the equity release buyer can access cash using a lifetime mortgage and gift to a child or grandchild.

What are your next steps?

Call our LCM mortgage brokers if you are a buy-to-let landlord with a property, remortgaging and want the best mortgage deal, buying your first home or you are planning to move home.

Learn more by using the mortgage monthly cost calculators, property value tracker chart and equity release calculator. Start with a free mortgage quote or call us and we can take your details.

For equity release buyers our London City Mortgage advisers can recommend lifetime mortgages allowing you to receive cash from your home to spend on anything such as buy a more expensive home or even benefit a family member or friend.

Use your dashboard to access online mortgage quotes, money off vouchers and start your mortgage application online 24/7 on desktop, tablet or smartphone.

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