Social cleansing wrapped up as having ‘community benefit’ by yet another London council

G killsWe are extremely disappointed by Wandsworth Council’s decision to use a planning provision that should be used in the interest of the local community, for example by providing social or other genuinely affordable housing or facilities, to encourage a developer to build more expensive privately rented housing. We are also concerned that other councils in London may seek to repeat this.

Wandsworth Council have used a Section 106 agreement, which is supposed to ensure that private developments do not run counter to community’s interest by making developers contribute positively to offset negative impacts of a building development. London Renters believes that the developer, Bellway’s, building of 114 units of privately rented housing at market rents is not of benefit to the community.

Wandsworth Council believe that attracting more “young, upwardly mobile singles and couples” to the borough represents a community benefit. This parallels statements by other London councils seeking to attract a “better class of tenant” to their borough. We do not believe the social cleansing of the old, poor and children is of benefit to communities in London.

As renters in London, we know that for tenants private renting is highly exploitative and very rarely meets our needs- indeed research conducted by Shelter shows that only 6% of renters would stay in the PRS given the choice.

One thought on “Social cleansing wrapped up as having ‘community benefit’ by yet another London council

  1. I suspect the motivation behind this, is that successive governments have stopped councils from being able to access sufficient numbers of social housing either council or propoer housing association, so as a result they’re having to house people [the ‘unintentionally homeless’ under the housing act] in the PRS. Because the PRS is so ridiculous, they’re left in a quandary of how to access housing in the PRS, by tying up with developers in this way I imagine they’re trying to have some sort of priority access to PRS housing. It’s a sticking plaster when the disease is the lack of social housing.

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