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Finsbury Park councillors criticise City North development for lack of affordable homes

PUBLISHED: 17:50 06 April 2018 | UPDATED: 17:50 06 April 2018

A CGI of the new City North development. Picture: Telford Homes

A CGI of the new City North development. Picture: Telford Homes

Archant

The developer behind Finsbury Park's £220million City North project has been criticised for its lack of affordable housing.

The area’s councillors Gary Heather, Asima Shaikh and Mick O’Sullivan said the 355-home scheme by Telford Homes was a “missed opportunity to address the severe shortage of genuinely affordable homes”.

Only 47 (13 per cent) will be deemed “affordable”, and that could simply mean 80pc of market value, way beyond the means of most people.

They said in a joint statement to the Gazette: “The council’s policy is for at least 50pc affordable homes in new developments. If we are to be able to address the severe housing shortage in our borough private developers must do much more to help.

“There is a shortage of land to build on in Islington, and at present the Tory government prevents the council from building as much council housing as we would like by not allowing us access to the finance required to do so.”

The development has already riled locals thanks to the closure of the Wells Terrace entrance to Finsbury Park Tube station and disruption with lorries coming and going all day in Fonthill Road, damaging footfall in the shopping street.

Community campaigner Ann Devine wrote to the Gazette last month saying the Wells Terrace closure had made it difficult for her to get to the Park Theatre in Clifton Terrace. She called for disabled people to be involved in decisions over future access between Seven Sisters Road and Wells Terrace, a call backed by her councillors.

Telford Homes said the Wells Terrace closure was down to TfL making the station step-free and there was unfortunately “unavoidable inconvenience”.

Regarding affordable homes, a spokesman said they formed part of a “wider array of new amenities” to benefit the area, including public space, shops and the new step-free entrance to Finsbury Park station.

“We have worked hard to keep disruption to a minimum,” he added. “We have engaged regularly with stakeholders to keep them updated and will continue to.”

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