New regulations order property developers to build ‘thousands’ more affordable homes in Kensington and Chelsea

New regulations order property developers to build ‘thousands’ more affordable homes in Kensington and Chelsea

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Property developers will be forced to build fewer millionaire mansions and thousands more affordable homes in London’s wealthiest borough, council chiefs have said.

Pushed by Government house-building targets, Kensington and Chelsea Council has published a set of new regulations, with the aim of building 733 new homes per year.

It comes as new figures revealed a huge shortfall in the proportion of affordable housing that should have been built in recent years.

Council chiefs are also seeking to ban super-rich landlords from creating mansions by buying neighbouring homes and knocking them into one.

The new rules are written into an updated version of its Local Plan, a huge document that sets out the borough’s housing policies up to 2028.

The council said it wanted to make the changes following the Grenfell disaster, which highlighted widespread neglect of social housing across the country.

Councillor Johnny Thalassites, the lead member for planning, said: “Since the Grenfell tragedy, we’ve worked to develop a way forward that reflects the priorities and needs of local people.

“With the help of valued voices from communities around the borough, we’ve created a blueprint that aims to deliver more homes.

“This is the next step in our continuing conversation with our community on the sort of place they want to live, learn and work in.”

Government planning experts say the council built only 397 affordable homes from 2010 to 2016 ― just 20 per cent of all the houses and flats that were built in that time.

This is far below its old policy, that 35 per cent of the individual homes in new large-scale developments should be affordable, and built on-site.

To step up, developers will be made to provide 35 per cent affordable housing in any development that is 650 square metres or bigger ― a block with roughly eight to 10 flats. This has been brought down from the national average threshold of 1,000 sqm.

Meanwhile, the council also estimates that 482 family homes have been lost over the past 10 years, due to landlords “amalgamating” them into superhomes.

The updated Local Plan says that where at least one home has 170sqm of floorspace ― about the same as a five-bed house ― amalgamations will blocked.

Alongside the aim of making sure 733 new homes are built per year, the council has forecast that 5,000 new jobs will be created.

By LDRS Reporter Owen Sheppard

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