Leyton flats plan approved without any affordable homes after costs soar

A developer has been given permission to build flats in Leyton with no affordable homes after claiming it will lose money even if all the flats are sold.

Waltham Forest Council’s planning committee first considered the application to build 25 new flats on High Road, Leyton, in July but deferred their decision.

At the time, developer NPLH Midland Ltd offered to make about a third of the rooms affordable but, on October 5, claimed building costs had since skyrocketed.

Councillors were told that, even if all flats were sold on the private market, the developer would lose £275,000 on the scheme, although it will make further profits from renting commercial space also planned for the site.

Cllr Alan Siggers (Con) told the rest of the committee he could not “in good conscience” support the plans given the lack of affordable housing.

He said: “The main concern is… what [this] says about the way we approach our policies. 

“We have a policy which requires a significant contribution to affordable housing but this development does not do that.”

The predicted cost of building, according to the developer’s surveyors and council officers, has risen from £4.5million to £8m due to material prices.

A planning agent for the developer told the committee: “We simply cannot afford to delay any longer, it will decrease the profit expected even further.”

Instead, NPLH Midland will pay a one-off £50,000 contribution to the council and face a review of profits after 75% of the homes are sold or let.

Committee chair Jenny Gray said: “There is a later stage viability review so if the scheme does become more profitable than envisaged we can return to it at that point.”

Built on an industrial site, the development will contain eleven one-bed, nine two-bed and five three-bed flats – in two, four and five storeys blocks.

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Josh Mellor

Local Democracy Reporter