Green light for Mount Pleasant homes
Plans have been approved for a new housing project on the Mount Pleasant postal sorting site in London.Some 681 residential properties are to be constructed, 163 of which will be affordable, with 98 for affordable rent and 65 for shared ownership. Shops, offices, restaurants and public space will also be provided. The properties intended for affordable rent will be an average of 44 per cent of the full market rental value in the area and some of the larger family units could be between 20 to 30 per cent of the full market rental value. Islington and Camden councils border the sites, but both failed to consider the planning applications by the relevant deadlines. Royal Mail therefore asked the mayor to take on the role of planning authority for the scheme.Originally, the site was to feature just 12 per cent affordable properties, but the mayor's office was able to negotiate for the development to include 24 per cent of this type of housing.Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: "Building new homes is absolutely crucial and by working closely with the local authorities and Royal Mail we have been able to bring forward a scheme that had been in serious danger of stalling while doubling the amount of affordable homes."Martin Gafsen, Royal Mail Group property director, described the project as "a great opportunity for us to contribute to the regeneration of the area around our iconic mail centre building".He added that the next stage for the group is to complete the design of the pre-development works, which is necessary to separate the mail operations from the planned residential areas.Half of the Mount Pleasant site will continue to serve as a postal sorting office, employing up to 3,200 people.More than 77,000 low-cost affordable homes have already been constructed during Mr Johnson's tenure, meaning the mayor is on target to build 100,000 such homes over the course of his two terms.
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