Hillingdon Council has approved 121 new homes in Hayes to add to the string of new-build housing complexes that have been constructed in the area over the past few years. The building, which will reach a maximum height of 11 storeys, is set to replace the Squirrels Trading Estate in Viveash Close.
It was approved despite some deep concerns expressed by councillors about the plan’s affordable housing offering. With just 22 per cent affordable housing, the project fell well below the council’s target of 50 per cent however the council was assured that other construction virtues offset this downside.
One of these features is a ‘green super highway’ designed to provide a large area of green open public space that connects a number of new build estates on Viveash Close. Councillors were also told by officers that after a long discussion with developers, 22 per cent of affordable housing was the maximum reasonable amount that could be provided without jeopardising space made in the plan for the green superhighway.
The construction is intended to provide 60 per cent public open space while housing and amenities will only take up 40 per cent of the site. This on top of a contribution of £115,685 to nearby Crawford Park to help with enhancements was seen by the planning officer as sufficient reason to recommend councillors give the plan the go-ahead.
Councillor Darran Davies expressed some hang-ups with the plan. His main concern was not only to do with the amount of affordable housing offered by the project but also the type of homes that fell under that category.
Citing the amount of one and two-bedroom houses as part of the offering, Cllr Davies questioned whether it would be possible to reshuffle the affordable housing so that more three-bedroom flats could be offered meaning more families could be serviced by it. This was something that was factored into the final decision and with the provision that officers would explore the reshuffle as an option, the council approved the plans.