Councillors approved the redevelopment of a derelict brownfield site, the former Barnes Hospital, with a high degree of frustration at the limitations of the social housing rules.

The proposal is for the demolition of existing structures and redevelopment of the site, including the construction of three new buildings comprising 104 residential units of mixed tenure, alterations and conversion of two existing buildings for three residential uses, car and cycle parking, landscaping, and associated works.

The proposal’s social housing element is 22 per cent, which aligns with the local and London plans, although Richmond has over five thousand families on its waiting list. 

Frustration was expressed that the NHS had sold the site to a private developer rather than using it for the direct benefit of the public.  

It is hoped that the S106 contributions will be used to acquire further social housing units elsewhere. 

The committee requested that additional information be included to cover the inclusion of Hedgehog tunnels and Swift Bricks in the development. Communal heat source pumps will be used in the BREEAM excellent development.

Some concerns were expressed about the homes overheating in extreme climate conditions. Officers felt this was acceptable, but a review of developments in the Borough is required.

In conclusion, the committee unanimously supported the development, accepting that any social housing provision is better than none.


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