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Southwark student block gets planning permission despite reduced affordable housing provisions

Alumno Developments has secured planning permission to build a 221-bed student accommodation block in south London without committing to Southwark Council's 35% affordable housing policy.12 Dec 2011

Alumno Developments submitted a planning application for the proposed development to the Council and, following nine months of negotiations, planning permission has been granted on the development.

‪The development will be called Hampton Street and will provide students at the University of Arts, London, with accommodation at 'below current equivalent' market rents.

This is the first planning application to be granted by Southwark Council since it adopted its affordable housing supplementary planning document (SPD) in September. The SPD specifies that 35% of homes must be made available for affordable housing on residential developments.

Alumno has agreed with the Council that it would build "incubation" space for students and make improvements to the public realm instead of the affordable housing. The developers argued that the cost of building homes for affordable housing would make the project unviable.

The building has been designed to the University’s space standards and will achieve a BRE Environmental Assessment Method rating of very good, the developer said.