South Oxhey Initiative gets the go-ahead
The long-awaited refurbishment of the precinct area and Station Approach has finally got the go ahead.
On 17 March, Three Rivers Council’s Planning Committee agreed to plans submitted by Countryside Properties to regenerate the heart of the estate with new homes, supermarket and shops.
A total of 514 new homes are planned across the estate, the vast majority of which, 458, will go in the redeveloped precinct area that currently contains 126 flats.
The former Crescent Club in Hallowes Crescent will accommodate 22 flats and the open space in Maylands Road will see 24 flats constructed and two houses.
Lidl has been chosen as the operator of the new supermarket which, at 1,745sqm, will now be 250% larger than the existing Co-op and enable the discount chain to stock a “full range of products”.
Affordable housing let down
However, a row is brewing over the number of homes to be available at affordable rent levels. Your Labour team is pressing for an increase on the figure of just 19% (96 properties) being offered by the developer.
It has also emerged that of those, only 48 would remain at the lowest possible rent after the first tenant moves out because of the Conservative government’s changes to funding arrangements.
Real affordable housing is needed
The council is spending £1.5m to buy a block of 21 flats, claiming it will be for affordable housing. That view is disputed by Labour, who point out the homes will be in shared ownership and not “truly affordable housing at below market rents”.
“Money the council had in its coffers could have been put towards the scheme, topped up with other sources of funding and cash it gets in from the project, to provide the homes at really affordable rents. It’s a Lib Dem let down for South Oxhey, I’m afraid,” said local Labour Councillor Joan King