Bermondsey: Grosvenor promises more ‘affordable’ homes on £500m Biscuit Factory site

Josh Salisbury (26 September, 2019) Housing

It had previously insisted the scheme could not support homes for the poorest - despite being owned by the Duke of Westminster

32337CGI image of the proposed development on the site of the former Peek Freans Biscuit Factory in Bermondsey

The Duke of Westminster’s property group has revised its £500m plans for Bermondsey’s former Peek Freans Biscuit Factory after being rejected for not providing enough affordable homes.

The rent-only scheme was thrown-out by Southwark councillors in February after Grosvenor refused to supply 35 per cent of affordable homes in line with council policy.

Councillors had heard how couples would need to earn £30,000 each to rent one of the ‘affordable’ properties – and that there were no homes suitable for those on the poorest incomes.

Now the developer has pledged it would provide 35% ‘affordable homes’ of which 30 per cent would be at social rented levels on the site if given the go-ahead by Mayor Sadiq Khan.

It had previously insisted the economics of development could not support more affordable homes or any social rented ones.

“Bringing about positive and lasting change for Bermondsey has always been our focus,” said Simon Harding Roots, Grosvenor Britain & Ireland’s Executive Director.

“However, our original planning application was not good enough. We acted in good faith but it didn’t meet the council’s expectations.

“Since then, we have worked hard to address the clear call from the community, council and Mayor to deliver more affordable housing whilst ensuring the project, and its many other benefits, can become a reality.”

Among the changes to the site is an increase in the number of homes to 1,548, with around 480 designated ‘affordable’. 140 of those would be ‘social rent equivalent’ added Grosvenor.

Height increases have been made at the centre of the development.

Also included would be a 600-place school for Compass School and more cycling provision.

Grosvenor Britain & Ireland is part of the Grosvenor Estate, headed by Hugh Grosvenor, the Duke of Westminster.

He is worth a reported £10billion, making him the world’s richest person under 30. A date for the plans to be considered has not yet been set.

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