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Extortion?

What else could one call this?:

"On 12th December 2007 the Mayor wrote to Westminster Council directing it to refuse planning permission for an application to develop Crown House in Aldwych, a predominately mixed use development with 7 residential units, as it included no contribution to affordable housing....the Mayor indicated his preparedness to cancel his direction if further negotiations between his planning officers and the developer resulted in an adequate contribution towards affordable housing. Following successful negotiations, the developer submitted revised proposals which included an contribution of £268,000 towards affordable housing elsewhere in Westminster".

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Anonymous Anonymous said... 2:39 pm

The shortage of affordable housing is because immigration is running out of control.  



Blogger Croydonian said... 2:44 pm

I think it is more down to a straight supply / demand equation.  



Anonymous Nomad said... 3:54 pm

Which mayor? Does one person really have such untrammeled authority to direct the outcome of planning processes/applications?  



Blogger Croydonian said... 4:03 pm

Sorry, Livingstone.

I thought the whole affair quite shocking.  



Blogger Ed said... 4:19 pm

It can't have been one of Livingstone's tame property developers, he would never tax them in this way. Does not fining developers make it less likely that more housing is built overall?

In Hammersmith, the council have reduced the required percentage of "affordable" to be built on each site and have actually increased the number of "affordable" units planned.  



Blogger Nick Drew said... 4:37 pm

I am sorry to say this is just the current state of play in the long-running game of 'achieving Planning Gain' which has been running for 20 years or more

every large developer now expects to be told to include a new roundabout / library / old folks' day centre in their plans - at their own expense

perhaps we should term it 'old English practices'

it dates from Thatcher's clamp-down on capital expenditure by local authorities, who resorted to this game as the only means of getting new projects built

'Planning Gain - sounds innocuous but it is of course a form of institutionalised corruption and as such is highly pernicious: only a short step from this to even more venal back-scratching activities & no-one (except your goodself) sees anything wrong with it anymore  



Blogger Croydonian said... 5:15 pm

Nick - Nothing new under the sun, I suppose. I still find Livingstone's /bragging/ about a successful shakedown profoundly shocking.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 11:59 am

There should be affordable housing made available to everyone, not just to keyworkers.

It's a worry, social inequality, it's only going to get worse. I think we need higher and higher skyscrapers. It's going to get to the point where we're so short of houses that the skyscrapers will become moon scrapers. I am worried sick about being close to the moon as I suffer from vertigo.  



Anonymous Anonymous said... 9:23 pm

Well you could call it bribery.

I believe it's very common in the Planning system. It is usually referred to as "Planning Gain", ie Tesco (or whoever) gets their planning permission if, and only if, they make a contribution to some cooncillor's pet project.

Stinks if you ask me.  



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