Pensions secretary attacks ‘critical flaw’ in L&Q dog track plans
G15 hits back at IDS attack on dog track plans
The chair of the G15 umbrella group has hit back at Iain Duncan Smith’s attack on a housing association for failing to include social rented homes in a proposed new development.
Work and pensions secretary Iain Duncan Smith, acting as Conservative MP for Chingford, last week criticised London & Quadrant for not including any social rented homes in its 294-home Walthamstow Stadium development, which received planning permission on Tuesday night.
A joint statement with Stella Creasy, Labour MP for Walthamstow, said: ‘The news that L&Q will not be providing any social housing in this plan at all is proof they are not meeting the real needs of Waltham Forest’s residents.’ The MPs said the omission of social rented homes was therefore a ‘critical flaw’ and also slammed 66,000-home L&Q for including just 24 flats for ‘affordable’ rent.
Keith Exford, chair of the G15 group of the largest associations in London, of which L&Q is a member, said: ‘It is a curious position for a minister to take given that his own government has made it almost impossible to provide housing for social rent through the changes to the grant regime.’
The government announced in October 2010 that it would no longer provide capital funding for social rented homes except in exceptional circumstances. To qualify for funding landlords would have to offer homes at up to 80 per cent of market rent.
The decision effectively marked the end of government-funded social rented housing. The level of grant has also fallen from around £89,000 per property in London to £22,000.
L&Q said it hopes to include the Walthamstow scheme in its affordable homes programme.
A spokesperson for Mr Duncan Smith said his comments did not refer to central government policy.
The Walthamstow plans are opposed by campaigners who believe the site should be sold to millionaire Bob Morton, who has separate plans for a dog track on the site.
A committee of Waltham Forest councillors narrowly voted to grant permission for the scheme by four votes to three. L&Q must pay £3.8 million in section 106 contributions and meet 46 conditions. The application will be referred to the mayor of London.