Government Office for London withdraws call for public inquiry
Merton Council has welcomed the Government Office for London’s decision to withdraw its call for a public inquiry into the Abbey Mills development. The inquiry was called because the Government Office was not satisfied with the provision of affordable housing as part of the development and called for a public inquiry.
Under Merton’s planning policy new developments of this sort should contain a quota of affordable housing on the actual site to be developed. However, due to site restrictions, verified by independent assessors, the provision of affordable housing on the site was not possible.
The council decided the most appropriate way of addressing the affordable housing issue was for the developer to provide a financial contribution toward funding affordable housing on alternative sites. Further information provided by the council to the Government Office regarding the way in which affordable housing would be provided allowed the Government Office for London to re-assess the way in which affordable housing would be provided as part of the development.
Steve Clark, Head of Planning and Public Protection, said: ” We are very happy that the Government Office for London has seen sense and accepts we had come up with the best solution to this problem.
“This development will provide affordable housing and substantial benefits to the community; new health and fitness facilities, a hotel and restaurants that will provide jobs and boost to the local economy in one of the most deprived wards in Merton.”