Westminster Council’s £31 million loss on s106 payments in lieu of on-site affordable homes

Labour Councillors have written to the District Auditor to draw his attention to the £31,130,387 loss incurred by Westminster City Council in accepting financial payments less than required by the Council’s adopted Planning Policies, in lieu of on-site affordable homes in respect of nine recent planning applications over the last 3 months (14th May – 6th August). Labour say that it is likely that over a full year, the financial loss to the Council would be many tens of millions of pounds more.

The details from the nine recent decisions taken by the Council’s Planning Applications Committee since May are;

14th May 2013

24 luxury apartments at 73 Great Peter Street, W1. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £2,729,929 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £550,000. This was £2,179,929 less than required under the Council’s policy.

42 luxury apartments at Grosvenor House Gardens, 35-37 Grosvenor Gardens, SW1. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £10,230,755 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £7,136,000. This was £3,094,755 less than required under the Council’s policy.

28th May 2013

31 luxury apartments at 26 Chapter Street, SW1. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £3,274,000 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £1,190,000. This was £2,084,000 less than required under the Council’s policy.

18th June 2013

22 luxury apartments at 67 Tufton Street, SW1. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £3,252,808 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £2,100,000. This was £1,152,808 less than required under the Council’s policy.

25th June 2013

6 luxury apartments at 10-12 Park Crescent, W1. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £1,047,832 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £697,000. This was £350,832 less than required under the Council’s policy

16th July 2013

78 luxury apartments at 1 Palace Street and 1-3 Buckingham Gate which was previously an office building. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £18,967,063 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £8,680,000. This was £10,287,063 less than required under the Council’s policy.

89 luxury apartments at 70-88 Oxford Street which was previously an office building. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £9,782,000 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £4,250,000. This was £5,532,000 less than required under the Council’s policy.

31 luxury apartments at 56 Curzon Street which was previously an office building. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £6,830,000 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £5,062,000. This was £1,768,000 less than required under the Council’s policy.

6th August 2013

42 luxury apartments at 29/30 Old Burlington Street and 22-27 Cork Street, W1. Under Westminster Council’s agreed Planning Policy the applicants should have paid the Council £10,681,000 for not including any affordable housing on site. Instead, the Council accepted the applicant’s offer of £6,000,000. This was £4,681,000 less than required under the Council’s policy.

Councillor Barbara Grahame, Labour’s Planning Spokesperson said in the letter;

“The Council is allowing applicants to ‘buy out’ their on-site affordable homes obligations in the West End at a ‘cut price’ and, as a result, has lost £31,130,387 in off-site affordable housing payments.

If there were a surplus of affordable homes in the West End or in Westminster generally, the Council might have an argument for accepting less than is required by its Planning Policies. However, the reverse is true and there is a huge demand for affordable housing in the West End and in Westminster generally. Currently there are over 1,000 families registered on the Council’s Overcrowded families Waiting List

The Council calculates the off-site affordable housing contribution on the basis of a payment of £215,000 per unit. On this basis, the £31,130,387 lost by the Council could have built 144 new affordable homes in Westminster”

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This entry was posted in Council finances, House building, Housing, Planning permission, Social Housing, West End, Westminster Council waste and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

One Response to Westminster Council’s £31 million loss on s106 payments in lieu of on-site affordable homes

  1. Michael says:

    A crime against us all

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