A dozen flats in a North West London development that were initially billed as affordable have been taken off the market due to a lack of interest.
Harrow Council’s planning committee last night (October 20) agreed to reverse an agreement that would have resulted in several affordable flats in the south of the borough.
Planning permission for the 61-home scheme in Alexandra Avenue was granted in 2019 on the condition it included 12 homes offered up for shared ownership.
But a lack of uptake saw developers apply for this clause to be removed and replaced with a payment of around £822,000 to contribute to affordable housing elsewhere in Harrow.
The application was called in for review by Cllr Pamela Fitzpatrick who said assessing any reduction in affordable housing “is something very important”.
She said she was “concerned” about any loss of such housing but was “satisfied” with the way forward following an explanation from council officers.
Cllr Marilyn Ashton added: “It’s disappointing, but it is what it is. It can happen, especially when it is a small element.
“They just can’t sell it to a provider and, while it is disappointing, we have to get over it.”
The decision means these homes will be offered up for regular purchase, which are likely to be out of reach for many potential buyers.
According to property company Rightmove, flats in the development are valued at around £400,000 while software company Payscale notes the average salary in Harrow is £29,000 a year.
Harrow Council’s website acknowledges it has a responsibility to provide “as much affordable housing as possible”.
In its latest draft borough plan, announced last year, it said it wants to build more affordable homes and reduce wealth inequalities in the borough.
The applicant, represented by Washington Young LLP, has been contacted for comment.