Westminster Conservatives have accepted a £24 million contribution to the Council’s Affordable Housing Fund from the Berkeley Group in return for allowing Berkeley not to include 22 affordable homes in their development of 202 new apartments at 190 The Strand, as previously agreed by the Planning Committee.
Labour Councillors, who voted against the proposal to take the money rather than build new affordable homes in the West End, argue that the Council’s decision is counter to the Council’s recently launched Draft Housing Strategy document. The Council say their plan is to “deliver 1,250 new affordable homes over the next five years”. It then highlights ways to achieve this. The first method is “through Section 106 agreements on private development schemes”.
Councillor Vincenzo Rampulla, Labour Housing spokesperson says;
“Having sent out their proposed Housing Strategy for consultation only a few months ago, residents will have little confidence in the Council’s ability to meet its objective of building more homes in Westminster. The Conservative strategy is crystal clear and it is obvious that this money will be used to buy up properties outside Westminster, or even outside London, to ship local families out of Westminster.”