Huge Development seeks Approval in St John’s Lower Clapton Road

I have just seen an application for a large development of nearly 60 flats in the grounds of St John of Hackney


  1. That is an absolutely abysmal amount of social housing, considering, as I understand, it’s a church selling off the land.

  2. Having some residential accommodation there could help make that path and the space around the church feel a little safer at night, which would be good thing.

  3. As I understand it, the money made out of the development is to be spent on repairing the church. Its hardly the profit motive that other developers have been charged with. The build cost is £2000 per square metre, which suggests a very high quality of work. You can of course do it much more cheaply on a per square metre basis, and therefore increase your affordable provisioning, if you build up. This is perhaps the most important issue that planners and London residents face right now – do you want this city to be affordable and high rise, or do you want this city to be expensive and low rise?

  4. I’m definitely not opposed to the development – big supporter of more housing, but I’d have hoped that a church would see the bigger picture. If they care about people on lower incomes living in the area having a future here, they’d try and get a better deal from the developer. I don’t know the ins and outs of it but if it’s their land, then presumably they have say about how much they sell it for, affecting the viability of affordable housing provision.

  5. well they say in the spiel that the developer’s return is 15.6%, which is apparently below the market rate of 20% minimum (which im very surprised about given that we live in an age of very low guaranteed investment returns). Maybe i should get into this game. 20% affordable housing seems OK to me – the 40% guideline looks to me a charter for ensuring that nothing new ever gets built.

  6. @gavinredknap I may be wrong but I thought the guidelines on affordable were dropped.

  7. Yes theyre aspirational targets now rather than anything firmer.

  8. The amount of affordable housing provided will be calculated on a case by case basis depending on the  financial viability of the scheme, any other exceptional costs  and the S106 contributions.  It basically comes down to the negotiating powers of the planning officer.  20% affordable housing is low by most standards,  there might be some other cost or contribution which was part of the negotiation.

  9. I would have thought the best way to keep prices down for everybody would be to produce whatever is scarce in a large enough quantities to meet demand.

  10. That is generally the case, yes. But then who wants to see the price of their house fall? Better to assuage your guilt by demanding developers of new builds pay for the privilege of actually building something.

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