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AHMM scheme at centre of affordable homes row is resubmitted to Islington

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An AHMM-designed scheme at the centre of a ‘landmark’ battle over its lack of affordable housing has been resubmitted by its developer – this time with more affordable units

Developer Parkhurst Road’s row with Islington Council over the development of the site in Holloway went all the way to the High Court last summer – when a judge backed the authority’s 2014 decision to throw out the proposals.

The developer had already lost two public inquiries, with the decision also upheld by an independent planning inspector, over its plans to build 96 homes on a former territorial army base with ‘little to no’ affordable housing. 

After the original offer of zero affordable units was turned down, the offer was upped to 10 per cent. But this was also rejected by Islington, which asks developers for 50 per cent affordable housing on a site-by-site basis.

The scheme has now been resubmitted with an increased offer of 30 per cent affordable homes.

A viability report included with the new application states: ‘The inclusion of 30 per cent affordable housing by unit is considered to be above the maximum reasonable level of affordable housing.’

At the public inquiry, Islington Council stated that the developer had justified the low level of affordable housing by citing the land purchase price, and argued the developer had simply paid too much for the site.

The judge agreed and, in a postscript to the judgement, recommended that the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors revise its guidance on viability assessments to clarify the rules on land valuation.

Parkhurst Road has been approached for comment. 

Islington Council said it could not comment on live planning applications.

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