CamdenNewJournal

The independent London newspaper

Tower developer in new appeal to remove affordable housing

Essential Living says it is in 'everyones interest' to see paused scheme built

27 May, 2021 — By Tom Foot

How the tower will look if it gets built

THE developer behind a 23-storey tower block plan for Swiss Cottage has lodged an appeal after planning chiefs dismissed its bid to remove all the affordable housing from the scheme.

Essential Living (EL) claimed that Covid and rising construction costs meant it could no longer afford to include the 36 low rent units at 100 Avenue Road.

But the council dismissed that application in March with officers concluding that without the affordable homes the scheme did “not serve the same useful purpose”.

EL on Tuesday informed councillors about its decision to take the case to a planning inspector. Swiss Cottage ward councillor Leo Cassarani said the proposal was “utterly shameless” and that it was “disappointing” that there was an appeal.

“The people of Swiss Cottage want local ­decisions to be taken by their local representatives, and they’ve told us time and again that they are against projects like 100 Avenue Road,” he added.

The project as a whole had been rejected by Camden Council at planning, but the developer secured consent when the then local government secretary Greg Hands overruled the decision.

Camden’s regeneration chief Councillor Danny Beales said the council will “robustly” defend its stance against the removal of affordable housing from the scheme. Demolition work on the site has already taken place.

A spokeswoman for Essential Living said: “The principle of the development is established, and it is in everyone’s interest to see the site built out and making a positive contribution to local life as soon as possible.

“Our application to reduce the affordable housing contribution was not a decision we took lightly. We had no other option than to go down that route and the same is true with the appeal – it is a challenging site, construction costs have increased over time and the pandemic has made it more difficult to deliver.”

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