Landmark affordable housing win for Islington Council over Territorial Army site in Parkhurst Road

The sorry-looking Territorial Army site in Parkhurst Road has been the subject of a five-year planni

The sorry-looking Territorial Army site in Parkhurst Road has been the subject of a five-year planning battle. Picture: Google Street View - Credit: Archant

Islington Council and the government have won a landmark affordable housing case at the High Court.

The saga, which has been going on since 2013, revolves around the former Territorial Army site in Parkhurst Road, Holloway.

A developer, Parkhurst Road Ltd, bought the site five years ago and refused to offer affordable homes when trying to get planning permission from Islington Council.

The town hall’s planning committee rejected it for this reason – and Parkhurst Road Ltd has been trying to overturn the decision ever since. It lost two appeal hearings against Islington before the case was finally taken to the High Court this year.

On Friday, the council, and the government’s Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government – headed by Conservative MP Sajid Javid – won the case.

An Islington spokesperson said: “We are delighted by the High Court judgement. This decision reinforces Islington Council’s long standing position that developers should abide by the councils’ planning guidelines, rather than overpaying for land and then trying to bypass our affordable housing requirements.

“There is a shortage of good quality, genuinely affordable housing in Islington and a significant unmet housing need.

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“The council is doing everything it can to address this, because we believe that everyone should have somewhere to live that is affordable, decent and secure – and developers must respect these important priorities when they purchase sites in Islington.”

Islington, which currently has 18,000 people on its housing waiting list, has a standard affordable housing benchmark of 50 pc.

Parkhurst Road Ltd had tried to justify its low levels of affordable housing – it eventually raised its offer to 10 per cent – to minimise risk to the company because of the high price it had paid for the site.

The council said it offers “very clear” guidance on planning applications to developers, warning them that overpayment for land is no excuse for low levels of affordable housing.

The plans are listed on development manager First Base’s website for 112 homes “within an attractive landscaped garden and courtyard, and an inspirational design that complements the surrounding architecture and character of the area”.