Mayor makes first two orders to reject developments in London as a result of their failure to meet social housing and design criteria.
Bellway Homes has become the first housebuilder to suffer because of London mayor Ken Livingstone's ruling that social housing must be included in developments.

This follows his rejection of developer Frogmore Estates' plans for a £220m commercial scheme opposite the Houses of Parliament.

Livingstone instructed Tower Hamlets council to reject the Bellway scheme in Limehouse, east London, which the local authority was set to approve, because it did not contain enough affordable housing.

In a letter to Tower Hamlets council, Livingstone said he would not allow the scheme to go forward because it did not provide 25% affordable housing or the money required to build the equivalent off site.

The letter states: "I consider this to be contrary to Tower Hamlets' adopted unitary development plan, supplementary planning guidance and guidance issued by the secretary of state." A Tower Hamlets spokesperson said the council would be discussing the scheme with Bellway Homes and the Greater London Authority to ensure that a greater proportion of affordable housing was provided.

Bellway Homes was unavailable for comment.

I consider this to be contrary to Tower Hamlets’ adopted unitary development plan

Ken Livingstone

Livingstone announced last year that he wanted to raise the percentage of social housing in every housing development in London to 50%. This prompted some developers to say they could be forced out of the London market.

The rejected Frogmore Estates proposal was for a 450 000 ft2 development in Westminster. In a letter to Lambeth council, Livingstone said the design was not of a high enough standard.

He said: "The proposed development would be contrary to good strategic planning in Greater London as it would adversely affect the setting of adjoining listed buildings of special architectural or historic interest." The design included tower blocks, a walkway and road layout. The group had already been forced to lop two storeys off the tower blocks before Lambeth council gave planning permission, making one tower eight storeys high and the other 12.

The scheme, on the former Greater London Council island block on Westminister bridge, was designed by Gensler.