Sunday 8 December 2013

H&F Conservatives' Self-Confessed "Developer Friendly" Approach Is Killing Twentysomethings' Dreams Of Home Ownership.

See this excellent article in today's Independent
Today's Independent is reporting "Labour councils are building twice as many homes in their areas as Conservatives local authorities, new research reveals today. Since the last election, an average of 403 social and affordable homes have been built in each Labour council area, compared with 201 in each Tory-held authority." Well, it's even worse in Conservative run Hammermith and Fulham who have allowed no genuinely affordable homes to be built once they controlled the planning process.

In fact the biggest group of beneficiaries from H&F Conservatives' policies are international investors based overseas. London's land has become one of the most lucrative commodities to invest in at the moment. Its returns are better than many hedge funds. Our local Conservatives are all-to-happy to oblige this process by voting through changes of land use so former industrial or business sites become prime luxury real estate - devoid of any affordable homes to buy or rent.

This failure to properly use local planning policy for the benefit of residents means that St. George's Glenthorne Road and Fulham Reach sites have no affordable homes to rent, The Town Hall scheme has no affordable homes whatsoever and the current Riverside Studios/Queens Wharf commitment to providing residents with genuinely affordable homes to buy or rent is zilch - despite one of the developers being A2 Dominion, a housing association that's meant to be committed to providing affordable homes.

A2 Dominion's approach offers wider insights. On 3rd November 2010 they told me how they we're not going to propose building any genuinely affordable homes on the Queens Wharf site because H&F's Conservative administration had made it clear they didn't want that. Meanwhile, H&F Conservatives' wider plans to demolish social housing across the Borough has been well documented.

Few doubt there is a housing crisis in London at the moment. A critical part of the solution locally is for H&F Council to use its planning powers to ensure that a wider variety of homes are build with the priority being affordable homes for residents to buy or rent. H&F Conservatives' self-confessed "developer friendly" record speaks for itself. As long as they run this Borough the ultimate beneficiaries of their approach are more likely to be in Moscow or Shanghai than Fulham or Hammersmith.

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