The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has for the first time used his new Land Fund to purchase a site at St Ann’s Hospital in Haringey – a deal which will enable the redevelopment of the hospital and provide hundreds of new homes – half of which will be genuinely affordable.
Sadiq struck a deal worth tens of millions of pounds with Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust to buy the site, which will deliver up to 800 new homes, with 50 per cent being affordable.
The deal signals City Hall’s new more direct and active approach to unlocking land in the capital with the Mayor using – for the first time – his £250m Land Fund to purchase two thirds of the NHS site and deliver more affordable homes for Londoners. He intends to use this fund to buy further sites in London to prepare land for new and affordable housing – and today urged local authorities across the country to consider following suit. The money secured from selling land to housing associations, councils and Community Land Trusts will be recycled to buy further land to build homes and unlock further opportunities across the capital.
The number of affordable homes at St Ann’s is a significant increase on existing planning permission for the site – secured originally in 2015 – which would have delivered only 470 homes, with just 14 per cent being affordable.
City Hall’s investment will provide redeveloped NHS facilities on the 11.24-hectare site, including a new mental health inpatient building. Planning permission for the new health facilities were granted by Haringey Council on Tuesday night.
There has been significant community interest in the site and the Mayor is committed to working closely with the local people, including St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust (StART), to deliver affordable homes for the local community. His office has already begun discussions with StART about the future development of the site for homes for local people.
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said:
“I am determined to do everything with the powers and resources at my disposal to tackle the housing crisis head on, and crucially that means building more new and genuinely affordable homes for Londoners.
“As Mayor, I’ve set out how City Hall will take a more active and direct approach to unlocking sites across the capital. Late last year I announced my plans for a new Land Fund to buy sites – and at St Ann’s we are showing what this can achieve. Not only will my intervention unlock this site, but it will also allow us nearly to double the number of homes, and crucially increase six-fold the number of affordable homes that had previously been given planning permission. I am pleased my investment will see the redevelopment of a new mental health facility and in due course we will recycle this fund to buy more sites so that we can build more affordable homes.
“Despite the government still failing to give us the investment and powers we need to make a true step change in homebuilding in London, we are showing what can be done. It is an approach councils and other local authorities across the country may look to adopt to ensure they play a key role in fixing the housing crisis.”
Barnet, Enfield and Haringey Mental Health NHS Trust Chairman, Michael Fox, said:
“This is very exciting news for the Trust, our patients and our staff. We are delighted that the Mayor of London has stepped in and purchased the surplus land, which means the current mental health inpatient wards at St Ann’s Hospital will soon be replaced by brand new, state-of-the-art mental health facilities. We look forward to working with him as the plans for the residential development progress and we build our new mental health wards, which will be amongst the best in the country.”
Joanne McCartney, London Assembly member for Enfield and Haringey, said:
“I welcome the Mayor’s intervention to help breathe new life onto this site at St Ann’s. I am delighted that City Hall’s investment will not only see a new and improved hospital, but will also work with the local community to deliver up to 400 much needed new affordable homes.”
Marlene Barrett, Chair of St Ann’s Redevelopment Trust, said:
“For years residents in Haringey have been working to realise our vision of a community-led development on the St Ann’s hospital site that delivers genuinely affordable homes for people in the borough, while maintaining the site’s health legacy and important biodiversity and heritage aspects.
“We welcome the Mayor’s decision to purchase the site and work with us. We hope our community can now realise its vision for the maximum possible number of long-term genuinely affordable homes, and that the development will serve as a new model for building large-scale, community-led housing and making the best use of public land in London.”
The deal also represents a success for the new London Estates Board – formed in November last year – of London and national partners to support the release of capital from surplus NHS estate and land to be reinvested in the city’s health and care system, as well as contributing to housing supply.
Geoff Alltimes, Co-Chair London Estates Board, said:
“This is great news and a major milestone for the NHS in London. It is an example of the collaboration and partnership working that the London Estates Board has supported and is seeking to achieve at a greater scale going forward.”