Following a planning appeal Southern Housing Group has finally secured planning permission to build 45 new homes on the site of its redundant hostel at Dalmeny Avenue, Islington, owned by the Group since the 1920s.
The Group applied for planning permission to demolish and rebuild 45 new homes on the site, including six affordable units, but this was rejected by the Council, who required at least 50% to be affordable. This is not possible without Government subsidy, which has been substantially reduced in recent years, and is even more restricted where planning obligations are imposed.
The planning inspector agreed this was not viable and that the Group should not be treated any worse than a commercial developer in planning terms, just because it is a not for profit housing association.
Group Development Director, Dale Meredith says: “The Group is a charitable organisation, not a property developer which distributes large profits to shareholders.
“Unlike a commercial developer the Group strongly supports the principle of affordable housing. We therefore need to retain maximum control of our assets in order to help fulfil our long term charitable objectives.
“Having onerous planning restrictions which are not viable would limit our ability to provide more affordable homes for those who need them most.”
Southern Housing Group has a long term involvement and commitment in the Borough of Islington, having been established with a charitable bequest in 1901 and building its first homes in Liverpool Road.
The Group now has 28,000 affordable homes in London and the South East.