Merton takes key step to bring forward genuinely affordable homes
Merton welcomed London’s Deputy Mayor for Housing and Residential Development, Tom Copley, this week as he toured four Council-owned sites that have been earmarked for building more than 90 affordable home
Accompanied by Council Leader Cllr Ross Garrod and Cllr Andrew Judge, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainable Development, Copley saw sites previously owned by Merantun Development Ltd at: Elm Nursery Car Park, Mitcham; Raleigh Gardens Car Park, Mitcham; Land at Canons, Madeira Road, Mitcham; and Farm Road Church, Farm Road.
In his role at City Hall, which he was appointed to by Mayor Sadiq Khan in 2020, Copley is leading an ambitious approach to tackling the housing crisis, including the direct funding of council housing across the capital for the first time.
Last month, it was agreed at a special meeting of Merton’s Cabinet to set aside £300,000 to update plans for building affordable homes on the four sites, bringing them up to current building regulations and standards.
One of the key ambitions of the new administration, returned in May’s local elections, is to increase the amount of genuinely affordable housing in the borough, with the ambition of building 400 new homes by 2026 using surplus council land.
The money agreed by Cabinet will be spent on re-engaging a design team and supporting consultants who will update the plans. The work should be completed by March 2023.
Cllr Andrew Judge, Cabinet Member for Housing and Sustainable Development, told Cabinet: “There is a housing crisis in Merton, and we have 9,500 people on the housing waiting list. That is people who don’t have decent or affordable homes, aren’t able to feel the security or pleasure that comes from having your own home.
“This isn’t a crisis that can be solved easily but in Merton we are doing our utmost to address it. We have land owned by the council that is surplus to our requirements, and we have these four sites that were granted planning permission two years ago.”