Islington and Camden Councils have made an application for judicial review of the Mayor of London’s decision to grant planning permission for the Royal Mail’s Mount Pleasant site.
One of the grounds of challenge is that the Mayor failed in his duty to provide the maximum amount of affordable housing on the site that could reasonably be delivered. The councils believe he did not fulfil the requirements of policy and fair process when he assessed the scheme’s viability. The case raises important points of principle relating to the use of viability assessments and the delivery of affordable housing across London.
The Mayor of London granted planning permission for 681 homes on the site, one of the largest development sites in central London, in October last year. Viability evidence from the councils showed that at least 42 per cent affordable housing would be possible, with the majority being for social rent. However the Mayor approved a scheme with only 24 per cent affordable housing – including ‘affordable rents’ that could be two or three times the level of social rent.