Hackney Mayor Philip Glanville: ‘Just eight affordable homes isn’t enough for Mecca Bingo site’
New Mayor of Hackney Philip Glanville has said developers who want to overhaul a derelict bingo hall should provide more than the 10 per cent affordable housing they currently claim they can afford.
Hackney Property Holdings LLP (HPH) has submitted a planning application to build 83 flats and workspace on the site of the former five-storey Mecca Bingo in Hackney Road.
The 10-storey block would contain three affordable homes, and a financial contribution of £1.25million would be made to build five more off-site, making a grand total of 10 per cent affordable housing. But Hackney Council’s planning requirement is to build 50pc.
Mayor Glanville told the Gazette: “I would think 10pc is nowhere near good enough. If you think about it in terms of the site and where it’s located I think we’d want to see a lot more affordable housing in the development.”
The council’s former housing chief, whose mayoral campaign was based on promises to work on housing issues, added: “Politically I can say that, but if the developer can prove that’s all it can deliver then that would be judged by a planning committee.”
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The former art deco cinema, dating back to the 1930s, has been operating as a bingo hall for more than half a century, but has lain empty since last June. Developers would need a change of use from entertainment and leisure to housing and industrial, saying the former wouldn’t generate enough revenue for developers.
A spokesman for HPH said: “In accordance with planning policy, the development will provide the maximum amount of affordable housing possible subject to scheme viability.
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“The viability of the scheme is currently being reviewed by the council and its independent advisors. Following this review the amount, type and location of the affordable housing will be agreed with the council.”
The building lies in the City Fringe Opportunity Area Framework adopted by the Mayor of London last December. It is supposed to deliver space for 53,000 new jobs and a minimum of 15,000 new homes.