Key scheme receives planning approval but may be called in by Ken Livingstone over energy targets
London mayor Ken Livingstone will decide next week whether to call in a major part of the £4bn Stratford City scheme to a planning inquiry.
Westfield last night received planning permission to allow it to build more homes in the central commercial zone.
Although the planning application was to include extra residential floorspace, the GLA and ODA used the application as an opportunity to ignite a debate on the levels of renewable energy in the overall scheme.
The permission is likely to anger Livingstone, who has previously criticised the low percentage of renewable energy on the scheme.
In the past few months, there has been an ongoing row between Westfield and the GLA after it emerged that only 2% of the energy for the proposed Olympic village project in Stratford will be provided from on-site renewable sources.
The new scheme received planning after Westfield pledged to meet a 10% renewable energy target for the additional homes on the scheme.
However, this may not be enough for the mayor. At mayor’s question time earlier this month he threatened to call the scheme in if building standards were not at the cutting edge of sustainability.
He told the London Assembly: “I made it absolutely clear to the applicants that given the changed financial circumstances we now expected 20% renewables and the housing to be constructed to the most advanced environmental standards and I would direct refusal unless we achieved anything that came close to that.”
A report from the GLA submitted to the planning committee revealed that the mayor wanted to take the opportunity of a new application to increase the renewable energy target across the whole site.
The report said: “The view was taken that as the application proposed an increase in the total amount of residential floorspace throughout the development – even though the increase would occur within Zone One – that the renewable energy target should be increased to a minimum of 10% across the whole development.”
Westfield said that questions over renewable energy obligations were unrelated to a planning application for additional housing and that it was inappropriate to try to undermine the agreement on energy reached in the outline consent.
Livingstone now has 14 days to decide whether to call the scheme in.