The housing secretary, Sajid Javid, is facing a legal challenge after he approved a 700-home housing scheme by the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s, which includes just 4% affordable housing.
The 29-storey development in Ilford, east London, will be built in a borough that has a stated policy that 50% of all new homes should be affordable. It estimates it needs an extra 15,000 affordable homes in the next 15 years, but Javid backed a scheme with just 27 affordable homes. The rest are expected to be sold for about £400,000 for a two bedroom flat.
The London mayor, Sadiq Khan, branded the approval “outrageous” and said 4% was a “disgraceful” contribution. Labour’s shadow housing secretary, John Healey, said it was “a clear case of ministers backing private developer profit over the homes that local people need”.
A local residents group Ilford Noise is now preparing to request a judicial review of the decision after Javid accepted Sainsbury’s claim that the scheme would not be viable with any more affordable units. Javid’s report concluded: “There is no good reason to dispute the agreed conclusions of the financial experts.”