Has the public been deceived over affordable housing at Bermondsey Spa?

This is ‘The Exchange’ in Bermondsey, Notting Hill’s latest completed development in Southwark and part of the Bermondsey Spa regeneration scheme. All but three private and two shared-ownership units in this 205-home development have been sold and of those that remain the private flats are priced at over £1m and the shared-ownership flats require a minimum salary of £73,986 to qualify.

Demolition of 54 council homes on the siteThe development should also have had 44 social rented units, to replace the 54 council homes demolished to make way for ‘The Exchange’.

44 social rented units were duly proposed in Notting Hill’s planning application for the site and that’s what was confirmed in the planning officer’s report. Paragraphs 27 & 29 of the GLA planning report also confirmed that the development proposed 44 social rented homes. However, after approval was given Southwark Council and Notting Hill signed-off the s106 legal agreement with something completely different – 44 ‘affordable rented’ units (ie. up to 80% market rents) not 44 social rented units.

Officers report states 44 Social Rented homes but S106 Agreement says Affordable Rented units

The change in wording is subtle but the consequences aren’t; according to Southwark’s own figures, a 1-bed social rented flat in Bermondsey (SE16) costs an average £97 per week, compared to £273 per week for ‘affordable rent’ at 80% market rent.

More details here: http://35percent.org/blog/2015/03/18/stand-up-for-more-social-housing/

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