charlie masson smith
Response from Wandsworth Council
Last year Wandsworth delivered the second highest number of affordable homes across all 33 London boroughs and has just unveiled its own £150 million housebuilding scheme that will deliver 1,000 new low incomes homes of which 60 per cent will be for social rent and low cost shared ownership.
Our decision on the power station was made at a time when the future of this key regeneration site, which had lain semi-derelict for nearly 40 years, was facing enormous uncertainty and in serious danger of becoming unviable.
If this had happened it would have threatened the future of the whole Nine Elms regeneration zone which is delivering over 20,000 homes for Londoners and more than 25,000 permanent jobs.
We were faced with the very difficult choice of either accepting a potentially lower number of affordable homes or refusing the application and risk losing all of them. And it would have placed in jeopardy the future of a much-loved and iconic Grade II Listed building that had been on English Heritage’s “at risk” register for decades.
What has therefore been agreed is that the power station will now bring forward the construction of nearly 400 affordable homes making them available three years earlier than originally scheduled, while the redrafted legal agreement means that they will be required to add the remaining affordable homes quota if market conditions improve. Therefore there is every chance these extra affordable units will be built at a later stage in the project.
It is also worth pointing out that the power station’s owners have contributed very substantially to the £1.2 billion cost of bringing tube services to this part of south London for the first time.