London mayor Ken Livingstone has lifted his threat to veto a Great Portland Estates (GPE) scheme after the developer agreed to triple the amount of affordable housing contributions.
Livingstone wrote to council of the south London borough of Southwark in May to direct the refusal of planning permission for GPE’s 15-floor office block at 240 Blackfriars Road.
GPE also proposed 10 flats in a five-storey block on the site, but the letter said its offer of £170,000 worth of contributions for off-site affordable housing was insufficient.
Following negotiations, GPE increased its contribution to £500,000, in addition to a similar sum for improvements to Blackfriars Road.
Livingstone said his tough stance was justified. “Thanks to this intervention, we’ve increased the contribution to affordable housing by almost 200%.”