Khan intervened after council rejected scheme in February


London mayor Sadiq Khan has given the go-ahead to a Hawkins Brown housing development previously knocked back by the local council.

Khan approved plans for 441 new homes on the site of a former Citroen car dealership in Brentford – of which 218 will be “affordable”. These include both shared ownership for first-time buyers and homes based on social rent levels for households on low incomes.

Khan made the decision to intervene after Hounslow council refused planning permission in February.

The 50% level of affordable housing was secured following the mayor’s intervention, after the borough rejected the application at a stage when it included 40% affordable housing. 

The approved scheme includes a review mechanism which means that if building is not well underway within two years of the permission being granted, the developer could be compelled to provide further affordable homes. 

The council knocked back developer L&Q’s proposal over concerns the development would negatively impact local heritage sites including Kew Gardens.

It includes five buildings of between 12 and 18 storeys.

Khan said: “This scheme shows how we can unlock the potential of an underused site to build more of the genuinely affordable homes Londoners so urgently need. I’m clear that to fix the capital’s housing crisis government must play its part, but we can make a difference now by ensuring developments include more genuinely affordable housing. 

“I have carefully considered the impacts of these plans – particularly the effect on historic buildings in nearby Kew Gardens – and have concluded that the benefit of delivering more than 400 homes, including 218 genuinely affordable homes, justifies granting permission.”

This is the fifth time the current mayor has stepped in to take over an application in order to boost affordable housing. Previous interventions have included increasing the affordable housing element from 9% to 35% at Allies & Morrison’s Hale Wharf in Tottenham, north London.