Labour councillors on Westminster City Council have slammed the Paddington Pole proposals by Renzo Piano due to a ‘scandalously low’ level of affordable housing
The proposal for a 254m tower - which is set to become London’s fourth tallest building - has led to a vociferous backlash from local residents including Terry Farrell, architect Ed Jones of Dixon Jones and campaigners fighting to protect the capital’s skyline.
And now the council’s Labour group has submitted a formal objection to the application, saying the plans have been rushed.
Labour Group leader Adam Hug said, ‘The developers need to go back to the drawing board and come up with a scheme that can really respond to residents’ concerns about the proposed design and delivers real benefits for our community.
‘The amount of affordable housing currently proposed is absolutely unacceptable and must be dramatically improved to ensure Westminster residents can benefit.’
The group said it was ‘deeply disappointing’ that the developers had rejected the option of providing affordable homes on the site.
In its letter to Westminster Council the group said: ‘[What] is being proposed is an off-site scheme that provides around 50 units of housing in a tenure akin to social rent, but with an opaque independent allocation process meaning that such units would not be directly available for residents on Westminster’s housing waiting list - an unacceptable restriction.’
The Labour councillors added that, given the tower is proposing 330 luxury housing units, the 15 per cent affordable homes was ‘scandalously low’ when compared to the borough’s planning target of 30 per cent affordable.
In addition, the group said, opposition was growing among residents who live a short distance from the site who would be most impacted by the tower’s presence.
Although proposed improvements to Paddington station resulting from the development would be welcome, the group said, ‘but are not decisive given the other concerns about the scheme’.
Westminster Council is set to make a decision on the scheme on 11 March.
The tower’s developer Sellar Property Group has been contacted for comment.
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