Southernwood Retail Park

MQT on 2019-06-20
Session date: 
June 20, 2019
Question By: 
Nicky Gavron
Labour Group
Asked Of: 
The Mayor


I note the recent approval by Southwark Council for the Southernwood Retail Park scheme (ref: GLA 4662) which is owned by Glasgow City Council as Administering Authority for the Strathclyde Pension Fund. The Stage 1 report from GLA officers on 8 April 2019 stated, “This publicly owned site should deliver 50% to follow the Fast Track Route. The scheme currently delivers 35%. The delivery of the majority of the affordable housing on Phase 2 is not supported.” On 28 May 2019, Southwark’s planning committee nevertheless granted planning permission to the scheme, citing a letter from the GLA agreeing that this does not fall under the definition of publicly owned land for the purposes of the new draft London Plan H5. Could you share with the Assembly a copy of this letter, and any legal advice you have received on this issue? Are there any risks of this having a wider impact on the effectiveness of the policy seeking 50% affordable housing on publicly owned land?


Southernwood Retail Park

Southernwood Retail Park

Answered By: 
The Mayor

This is a very specific case involving a pension fund for former public sector and non-public sector employees. The site is held by Glasgow City Council, but this is for administrative purposes only on behalf of the Strathclyde Pension Fund, and the applicant has confirmed that the council has no beneficial interest in the fund. The fund acts on behalf of its members, which include employees of organisations that were formally but are no longer part of the public sector, owners of individual pension funds that may have been transferred to private businesses, smaller private companies and charities, universities and colleges, and housing associations.

In these specific circumstances, the site is not considered to be public land for the purposes of determining the relevant affordable housing threshold under policy H6 of the Draft London Plan and the Affordable Housing and Viability SPG. This case will not impact on the effectiveness of policy H6 because these particular circumstances will not apply in the majority of cases involving public land.