The proposal comprised 44 single-occupancy flats for intermediate discounted market sale. The parties did not dispute that it would meet national and local definitions of affordable housing and accorded with policy seeking to maximise provision, indicating a significant benefit in this respect. However, the council did not agree that the proposal accorded with detailed local policies seeking a mix of tenures and dwelling sizes to meet identified community housing needs, and also questioned its affordability.
Citing demand for their units and support from the mayor of London and Homes England, the appellants pointed out that a scheme providing only 40 per cent affordable housing would be policy-compliant. The inspector did not consider that this argument could be used to justify the appeal proposal, given clear evidence of the range of identified local housing needs that underpinned the council’s policy.
In her view, the exclusion of affordable rented and other types of affordable housing, as well as the size of the units, weighed significantly against the proposal. She concluded that the scheme did not maximise affordable housing or meet policy requirements. In dismissing the appeal, she acknowledged that it is unusual to reject an affordable housing proposal.
Inspector: Claire Searson; Inquiry