The following joint statement has been issued by Stella Creasy, Labour and Co-operative MP for Walthamstow, and Rt Hon Iain Duncan Smith, Conservative MP for Chingford and Woodford Green regarding the revelation that the proposed housing estate for the former Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium will contain no socially rented properties:
“We agree with Waltham Forest Council’s stated ambition to provide a mix of housing for our community so the news that L&Q will not be providing any social housing in this plan at all is proof they are not meeting the real needs of Waltham Forest’s residents. Given that there are 21,000 people on our housing waiting list this omission is a critical flaw in L&Q’s plans. Furthermore, not only are there no social rented properties in this proposal, it will also only deliver 24 flats at ‘affordable rates’ of rent which are higher and so meet a different need in our local housing market. This doesn’t meet the council’s ambitions which it set for itself that there should be at least 50% affordable housing in any development. All this goes to show this proposal is simply not good enough and we urge the planning committee to demand a better deal for the residents of our borough. That a viable alternative is on offer which would deliver jobs, entertainment and a better mix of housing- all of which are desperately needed here- through the restoration of the greyhound track only serves to underline why this proposal should be rejected.”
- London and Quadrant propose to build 294 new homes as part of a mixed-use development, including a mix of private, affordable rented and intermediate accommodation on the site of the Walthamstow Greyhound Track which they purchased in 2008. The residential provision will include 60 affordable housing units.This is a percentage provision of 20% when expressed in terms. Of these only 24 will be available for affordable rents at 50% market rate. There will be no provision of units for social rent.
- Waltham Forest’s own affordability guidance states the following “we recognise that our policy position of 50% affordable housing may be challenging to achieve within the new affordable rent framework. We consider that it is preferable to provide fewer homes which meet our affordability and family-size criteria (3 bed plus), than greater numbers of homes which are small and unaffordable to local people.All applications for development which propose affordable housing delivery below our 50% policy requirement will be required to pay for an independent development viability assessment and submit sufficient information to fully justify the level of shortfall.”
- Waltham Forest’s Housing Strategy also set out “Our target is to provide 665 new homes, a minimum of 50% of which will be affordable, each year up to 2016/17. Affordable housing will be split between 60% social rented, and 40% intermediate housing”
- Both Stella Creasy MP and Iain Duncan Smith have written to Waltham Forest Council to oppose the London and Quadrant application and to support an alternative proposal to restore the Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium and provide social housing on the site put forward by Bob Moreton.
- Waltham Forest Council will consider the planning application put forward by London and Quadrant on Tuesday 8 May 2012. Both Boris Johnson and Ken Livingstone have expressed their support for the restoration of Greyhound racing at this venue.
- The Walthamstow Greyhound Stadium is a grade II listed building.