An artists impression of the site (credit: Patrizia)
The council’s Planning Committee unanimously agreed to demolish the Trocoll House building, which includes The Barking Dog pub, in Wakering Road, on Monday, 14 September.
It will be replaced with a part 4, 5, 23 and 28-storey building which will provide 198 residential units. These units will be a mix of one and two bedroom apartments.
The scheme was approved after the developer agreed to provide 35 per cent affordable housing at the site, rather than the 20 per cent which was originally proposed.
At the Planning Committee meeting, Cllr Dominic Twomey raised concerns the developer, Patrizia, may sit on the site once they had acquired planning permission.
Some property developers buy land, secure planning permission on the site and then sell it for a higher price, without ever building anything.
Cllr Twomey asked Patrizia how they had made the development financially viable while agreeing to increase the amount of affordable housing from 20 to 35 per cent?
Richard Scott, a representative for Patrizia, explained they undertook a professional viability report prior to submitting the proposal and are happy with the increase.
“When you acquire development sites or buildings there is a degree of risk in everything and some sites and buildings perform well and others don’t,” Mr Scott said.
“I guess Trocoll House for Patrizia hasn’t performed as well as it should have done but we are still committed to taking this site forward.”
Cllr Twomey responded by claiming Patrizia had only agreed to the 15 per cent increase in affordable housing to get planning consent.
“Most reasonably minded people would think that jump from 20 to 35 per cent makes no sense at all,” said Cllr Twomey.
“Why would someone build [something] if it’s going to cost them money?
“I’m not sure you’ve really given me and the rest of the committee significant reassurance that there is a will to build this out.”
Mr Scott reiterated that Patrizia are happy to stand by the 35 per cent affordable housing commitment.
Cllr Cameron Geddes added: “I am disappointed it is London Living Rent rather than London Affordable Rent.”
However, he admitted the proposals were complaint with the councils requirements.
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