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Legal options run out to buy site wanted for affordable homes plan

Chiropody business gets go-ahead for lucrative scheme on estate redevelopment land

07 August, 2020 — By Sam Ferguson

Angel Chiropody’s site next to Hathersage Court

THE Town Hall has admitted it can no longer force a chiropodist to sell back former council units that were to be part of its long-awaited Hathersage Court estate redevelopment.

A tangled planning saga began when council plans to redevelop the estate in Newington Green were approved in 2018.

Designs included seven new blocks and 45 homes, 22 of which were to be marked affordable.

But units on the site of one block, named “Block K”, had already been sold for £200,000 by the former Lib Dem council in 2008.

It is understood several attempts have been made by the current administration to buy back units so the development can go ahead as planned, but all of which were rejected.

Instead, Angel Chiropody submitted its own plans for a block on the site and now have permission to build a lucrative set of private homes.

Islington can claim a £350,000 payment towards affordable housing as approval but has missed out on building their own plans.

Questions have now been raised over why the council did not use its powers to buy the units under a Compulsory Purchase Order (CPO) before the owners gained planning approval.

Residents of Hathersage Court say they were told “repeatedly and explicitly” by the council the land would be bought using a CPO before the redevelopment started.

A source close to the project said: “They should definitely have used CPO powers when they had the chance. That is what residents were explicitly told was going to happen.

“Whatever they are planning to do now to get around it won’t be as good as the original plan involving that block.”

The Town Hall has confirmed it no longer has the option of CPO because the chiropodists’ plans are similar to their own.

The council also confirmed no attempt had ever been made to CPO the units since they were sold off in 2008.

The Tribune also asked if any improved offers would be made to purchase the land from its current owners.

But Islington insisted the remainder of its original design for the estate would be implemented, without Block K, and that all the promsed affordable homes and investment in the estate would be delivered.

Angel Chiropody have not responded to repeated requests for comment.

Its architects told the recent planning meeting that their redevelopment would “provide a new commercial unit for the client, bespoke to meet their needs, seven new homes on the site and a specific contribution under Section 106”.

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