The Greater London Authority (GLA) has attacked Wandsworth council for granting planning permission to Grimshaw's £500 million Battersea Power Station redevelopment (pictured).
London mayor Ken Livingstone is said to be 'extremely frustrated' with the council after it gave the scheme the go-ahead without a Section 106 agreement or any provision for affordable housing. His spokesman attacked the decision as 'irresponsible' and 'very disappointing', saying: 'A scheme of that size should be in a position to provide a substantial amount for the local community.'
Livingstone was reportedly livid. His spokesman said: 'Wandsworth's decision-makers have made a dreadful mistake. No developer has ever dropped out of a scheme of this size because of the planning gains enforced by a council.'
However, the GLA holds no legal right to call a halt to the scheme because the planning application was submitted prior to its inception.
Wandsworth's head of public affairs, Steve Maynor, rubbished the criticism, saying the decision to support the original planning application without a Section 106 agreement was justified. 'No other developers have managed to stand up a scheme on the power station site, ' he said. 'We didn't want to do anything that might put this one off.
'Ken's approach is nonsense. We achieve the fourth-highest level of affordable housing in London without insisting that every development has to contribute. We only use Section 106 agreements where they will work. The mayor hates this realistic approach, 'Maynor added.
Wandsworth and Livingstone have clashed before over affordable housing . The Government Office for London called in a BurlandTM scheme in 2001 when the mayor attacked Wandsworth's decision to give the development the green light without affordable housing (AJ 4.10.01).