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Cheap materials for building low-cost housing now banned by Tower Hamlets mayor

PUBLISHED: 14:18 01 March 2018 | UPDATED: 16:35 01 March 2018

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs... �We�re making sure developers deliver a decent-standard home.� Picture: Kois Miah

Tower Hamlets Mayor John Biggs... �We�re making sure developers deliver a decent-standard home.� Picture: Kois Miah

Kois Miah

Poor materials used for low-cost housing are being outlawed by Tower Hamlets Council as part of its planning applications system.

Mayor holds site inspection where a new housing scheme is being built in Limehouse. Picture: Kois Miah Mayor holds site inspection where a new housing scheme is being built in Limehouse. Picture: Kois Miah

The move comes in the wake of last year’s Grenfell Tower disaster where cheap cladding had been used.

Strict conditions have now been outlined by Mayor John Biggs for any housing funded by levies charged to developers who would be required to include some “affordable” units in any planning application.

“Developers need to contribute to the community,” John Biggs insisted. “We’re making sure they’re not just building in numbers, but delivering a decent-standard home.”

Some low-cost housing was not built with robust materials nor stood the test of time, according to a council study in 2014.

So a new code has been drawn up for building design specification including plumbing, electrical work, drainage, walls, roofs, balconies and windows.

The council’s chair of scrutiny Dave Chesterton said: “We have made the case for tougher guidance about new homes which will have an impact on the quality of tenants’ lives.”

The standards are being included in agreements and contracts with planning applications to make sure they are met.

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