The Mayor of London has lambasted Wandsworth Council’s approval of a request to slash the number of affordable homes at Battersea Power Station.

On June 22, Wandsworth Council approved an application by the Malaysian shareholders behind the £9billion redevelopment that cut the number of affordable homes on offer by nearly 40 per cent.

See related: Wandsworth Council votes to allow cut to affordable housing at Battersea Power Station

London Mayor Sadiq Khan “waving through” the request was “shameful”.

When the development was proposed in 2011, Battersea Power Station Development Company earmarked 517 homes- then changed to 636- as affordable for the £9billion project but this has been cut to 386.

Wandsworth Times:

The planning meeting at Wandsworth Council on June 22

Defending the decision, chairman of the planning committee Councillor Richard Field said the “escalating cost” of the Power Station’s restoration meant the project is “facing significant challenges”.

He said: “This development also directly funds the Tube extension which is bringing 25,000 jobs to Battersea, so the stakes are extremely high.”

However, Mr Khan suggested the council is “allowing themselves to be hoodwinked into cutting affordable while the developer’s profits remain strong.”

He spoke about a viability study, which showed a company willing to take on the project would make a £1.8billion profit.

Wandsworth Council has disputed this figure, saying it was from 2008 and “years out of date”.

No powers

The Mayor has no powers to intervene in the decision but after hearing of plans to approve the request asked the council for the viability information to back it up.

After receiving nothing back, he said: “I urgently wrote to the committee urging them to defer the decision until my recently-appointed expert viability team had challenged the numbers, but my concerns fell on deaf ears and Wandsworth waved this shameful decision through.”

However, Cllr Field said Mr Khan was asked to engage in the decision making process several weeks ago but “remained completely silent” until the day before the committee meeting “when he launched a social media campaign rather than contacting the council”.

Battersea Power Station released a statement about the decision at the time stating the company was still “determined to deliver 15 per cent affordable homes, equating to 636 homes”.

“Our priority is to make good on the trust people have placed in us by starting on the first 386 affordable homes this year, which is three years earlier than the requirement in the original planning consent.”

Battersea Labour Party has launched a petition, which at the time of writing had 892 signatures, for a review of the decision.

It will be presented at the full council meeting on July 12.