Affordable homes reserved for first time buyers and tenants at the Battersea Power Station development have been moved to a new plot half a mile away from the luxury property scheme.
Over 370 affordable homes were originally planned to be mixed among the multi-million pound apartments next to the Grade II Listed power station, but are now being built on a former industrial estate between busy railway lines.
Developers argue that this is necessary, to make way for a new giant sewer.
Wandsworth Council is currently considering a plan to move the cheaper homes to a collection of mansion blocks, which will be ready in 2019.
However, as the homes are being located as far away from the site as possible, the proposals signal that developers plan to segregate the luxury homes from the affordable ones.
Head of the Battersea Power Station Development Company, Rob Tincknell, defends the change, stating that the affordable homes will be completed sooner under the new proposal.
The affordable homes will be built on a three-acre site in Sleaford Street, on the other side of Battersea Park Road.
This is the opposite of the original plan, which was to mix affordable homes with the luxury properties throughout the later phases of the scheme.
Tincknell says that when they were aware of the Thames Tideway Tunnel – the new sewer – and the Northern line extension, the plan was reconsidered, so that work wasn’t delayed.
He states: “When it became apparent that construction of the Thames Tideway Tunnel would delay delivery of affordable housing, we were immediately asked by our shareholders to develop an alternative strategy to deliver our committed affordable housing.”
The affordable homes are designed by Patel Taylor Architects, which created homes at the Athletes’ Village in Stratford for the 2012 Olympic Games.
Tincknell continues: “We think the architecture is beautifully proportioned and the 374 homes are spacious and well laid out, with the vast majority benefitting from double or even triple aspect.”1
The properties will be housed in five mid-rise blocks, ranging from nine to 18 storeys. Over 250 homes will be rented out on long leases and at lower rates for those priced out of the local private rental sector.
The average rent of a two-bedroom flat in Nine Elms is currently around £3,000 per month, says Zoopla.
The remaining properties will be sold to local first time buyers that earn from £40,000 per year, who will be able to buy a 25% share. A two-bedroom flat in the area costs just over £1.2m.
The project includes a new piazza with space for market stalls, a ball court, outdoor gym equipment, children’s play areas, a fitness trail, a private residents’ garden and a community garden including allotments and fruit trees.
Additionally, there will be a new NHS health centre on site and small business units, as well as shops and cafes.
When it is completed in 2025, the development will include 581 affordable homes – the remainder will be built in later phases – accounting for 15.2% of all housing on the site.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, defended affordable housing on the £8 billion site last year, noting that it will provide hundreds of homes for struggling Londoners.