Westminster City Council challenged to support community over land sale

Westbourne Ward Labour councillors have stepped in to try to stop a block of flats being built without any affordable housing.

Westminster council is trying to demolish an historic school in Amberley Road, Paddington, to make way for a new Academy primary school and 47 flats, all of which would be sold on the open market. The Planning Committee allowed the council to dodge planning policy which asks for some of the new homes to be for the local community at affordable rent levels. There is a small linked “ex gratia” payment to flats for shared ownership over a mile away on Ladbroke Grove.

During the planning consultation, the Paddington Waterways and Maida Vale Society objected to a ‘private enclave’ behind gates and fences. But two Cabinet members on the Council have now agreed to sell on the land and the right to build the flats, in a confidential report.

This is the first time a Council decision in Westminster has been called in for scrutiny by three ward members. The Scrutiny Committee will take place on Tuesday 11th December at City Hall at 6.00pm.

Westbourne ward Labour councillor Adam Hug said “We call on the cabinet to come clean with local residents, and say exactly how much the council will get if it sells the development”. Cllr Papya Qureshi said “We told the council that local people didn’t want the demolition of the school, and didn’t want a gated all-private block on the site.”

Westbourne Councillor David Boothroyd added;

“Local residents really need affordable rented flats to relieve overcrowding. If they force this sale through, the council must use the proceeds for the local community,

1) The original school building was designed in 1881 by E.R. Robson and is mentioned in Prof. Nikolaus Pevsner’s books about the Buildings of England

2) The decision called in is at http://transact.westminster.gov.uk/CSU/Cabinet%20Member%20Decisions/Housing_and_Property/2012-2013/25%20-%20Amberley%20Road%20Scheme/Letter%20-%20Confidential%20Joint%20Decision.pdf

3) Contact David Boothroyd on 07738 952409.

This entry was posted in Council finances, Education, Housing, Paddington, Regeneration, Westbourne and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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