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Grahame Park estate, Barnet

1,314 homes are under threat of demolition at Barnet's Grahame Park Estate. The estate was constructed in the early 1970s by the GLC on the site of the former Hendon Aerodrome.

It and is Barnet’s largest housing estate with 1,777 homes. Barnet Council appointed Notting Hill Genesis in 2002 to redevelop approximately three quarters of the estate (463 homes will be retained).

A small initial redevelopment phase was completed in 2012 (stage A). Notting Hill Genesis recently received planning consent for the next phase (plots 10-12) after its application was initially refused due to the proposed net loss of social rented housing. This phase will provide 32 homes at 'target rents' to existing permanent tenants, 314 London Affordable Rented and 699 shared ownership homes.

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A GLA briefing paper confirms that the land is being transferred to Notting Hill Genesis at no cost (para 4.2). This is also confirmed in section 6.2 of the Financial Viability Assessment.

The Financial Viability Assessment commissioned by Notting Hill Genesis and submitted to the GLA justifying the low levels of social rented housing, confirms that Notting Hill's target profit for this phase of the scheme is £105m and that current estimates say it will achieve £66m.

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The GLA's stage 1 report says that "while Plots 13 to 16 are expected to come forward over the longer term; Plots 17 to 21 are not expected to come forward for development. "

In May 2020, it was reported that Barnet Council had agreed to spend £33m on repairs to the estate for maintenance upkeep whilst redevelopment is pending.

In December 2020, An FOI request has revealed that housing association Notting Hill Genesis charged higher rents than it was supposed to for replacement social housing on the completed Phase A of the scheme - in breach of both funding conditions and the planning permission.

A compliance audit by the GLA found that on first let, Notting Hill had charged nearly £20 per week more than the Mayor's permitted benchmark levels for London Affordable Rent.

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Whilst the GLA audit considered this a 'high breach' of funding conditions, it failed to impose any kind of penalty on Notting Hill Genesis.

The Mayor's audit also made no mention of the fact that the planning permission envisaged the tenure of these homes on Phase A to be social rent, which is even lower than the Mayor's London Affordable Rent benchmark levels.

This is because the scope of the Mayor's audit is limited only to verifying that rents are in line with grant funding conditions on first let. The Mayor's audit is not concerned with rent levels on subsequent lets or whether the rents are in line with the tenure required by the planning consent.

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Details of the planning consent for Phase A are available on Barnet's planning portal here and details of the Mayor's annual compliance audit are available on the GLA website here.

The Grahame Park scheme is being funded by the Mayor and has been exempted from his requirement to ballot residents on the demolition of their homes. It is located directly adjacent to another large estate redevelopment scheme - the Douglas Bader Park estate.


Mayor's Stage 2 planning report

Barnet Planning Portal - planning application supporting docs (ref:19/5493/OUT)