Council approves Barking block of flats with no affordable housing
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Plans to build a block of flats without affordable housing on site have been approved by the town hall.
The bid for 12 homes on the corner of Cranborne Road and Wedderburn Road in Barking was given the green light at a council meeting on Tuesday, December 21.
Councillors heard the developer's offer to pay £90,000 towards providing genuinely affordable homes elsewhere in the borough was "entirely acceptable".
Under the London Plan, affordable housing should be provided on site but can be built elsewhere in "exceptional" cases.
The original scheme was rejected by the council last year, in part for not including affordable homes or a payment in their place.
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An independent study by BNP Paribas concluded the revised scheme could provide two shared ownership flats or a payment of £77,286.
The developer's offer of £90,000 exceeded the maximum amount considered reasonable, councillors heard.
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A further £15,000 would be paid by the developer towards tree planting to compensate for the loss of green space on top of contributions linked to cutting carbon emissions.
Jeff Watson, one of the applicants, said they made an offer "over and above" the amount required because they wanted to help the borough where they were born and bred.
Cllr Dominic Twomey, the only councillor to vote against the scheme, said: "It's great you're born and bred in Dagenham. But what people can't come to this committee and tell us is that you're doing something for the borough when your original financial viability scheme showed there was no room for affordable housing.
"It took us as a council with BNP Paribas to independently scrutinise that and reach the correct conclusion there was room for affordable housing."
Ian Phillips, speaking for the "bespoke" development, described the scheme as "a win, win, win" for all parties involved with 12 new homes, an "element" of affordable housing and family sized dwellings.
The three-storey block has seven one-bedroom, three two-bedroom and two three-bedroom flats.
Mr Phillips suggested people living next door to the site would be unlikely to choose to live next door to the car wash which is on the site now and all the traffic, noise and disturbance it brings.
"Residents will find the local environment much improved," he said.
The scheme was approved subject to conditions.