Mayor Blocks Mortlake Brewery Development

Scheme to build over a thousand flats by river deemed to lack affordable housing

The Stag Brewery Redevelopment
The Stag Brewery Redevelopment viewed from Chiswick. Picture: Exhibition, Squire & Partners

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The London Mayor has refused 1,250 homes at Mortlake’s 22-acre Stag Brewery site.

The application was rejected in the London Assembly where Sadiq Khan criticised developers’ lack of affordable housing in the past and for this application.

In the London Assembly Representation Hearing on Tuesday afternoon (27 July), Sadiq Khan said, “Despite the hard work of the GLA team, the public benefits offered would not clearly outweigh the harm.”

He added, “I’m particularly concerned that the affordable housing offer which remains below the expectations that I have in my plan does not unbalance offset the adverse impacts of the development.”

The plans drew staunch opposition from many local residents and local politicians who celebrated the decision.

The Mortlake Brewery Community Group (MBCG) has been monitoring the application and plans for the site every step of the way.

Francine Bates, co-chair of MBCG said, “We are not opposed to the site being developed but this is a terrible scheme that will destroy Mortlake and the surrounding area as we know it.”

Michael Squire, senior partner Squire & Partners architects, said the whole point of the original planning brief from the council: “Was that they should develop something that was rich in terms of mix and uses and would be able to be a genuine seamless addition to the local area rather than an isolated housing estate.”

He added: “[It will be] a new piece of the city which will be very valuable to all of those who live around it.”

The Richmond site is near the finishing post of the Oxford-Cambridge boat race and plans for the development date back to 2017.

The latest proposal would have included 356 affordable homes (up from 138), a hotel, restaurants, cinema, school, public park, boat house and more – bringing 350 jobs to the area.

In January 2020 Richmond Council approved the original application from developers Reselton. The application was split into three sections, focusing on the residential housing and commercial space, the secondary school, and the changes that would need to be made to the road layout to mitigate extra traffic to the site.

This plan said there would be 633 homes on the site, but only 17 per cent (138 homes) would be affordable. There was also a plan for a ‘care village’ for up to 150 units, as well as a secondary school and sixth form for 1,200 pupils.

However, the application was called in by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, because of its low level of affordable housing, which stood at just 17 per cent. The developers increased this to 30 per cent last summer by including more homes and making the buildings taller.

The new application included up to 1,250 homes and up to three more storeys on some of the buildings.

The Mayor was due to make a decision on the amended scheme on 26 November after a consultation over the summer and a re-consultation in October, but this was delayed.

They are an umbrella group of residents who say they are not opposed to the development, but want it to benefit all residents and visitors.

After the delays to the Mayor’s decision they pushed again for their alternative community plan for a smaller development, and to prevent the start of building until Hammersmith Bridge was fully reopened.

In February this year, the Mayor launched yet another consultation to give residents the opportunity to give feedback on technical notes from the applicant about the impact of Hammersmith Bridge’s closure on traffic.

They also included the developer’s response to issues raised during previous consultations, as well as a summary of traffic modelling findings and road improvement plans.

James Mayer - Local Democracy Reporter

July 28, 2021

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