Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne pledge support for Meridian Water housing development

Enfield Independent: Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Photo taken by Anne-Marie Sanderson Boris Johnson, Mayor of London and Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne. Photo taken by Anne-Marie Sanderson

The Chancellor of the Exchequer and the Mayor of London have both given their backing for a major new housing project.

The £1.5bn development at Meridian Water, on the borders of Enfield and Haringey will see 5,000 new homes and up to 3,000 new jobs created by 2017.

Today, George Osborne and Boris Johnson were at the former gasworks site as they gave their support to new measures to simplify planning regulations.

The Chancellor said the changes would make it easier for major projects to be pushed through.

Mr Osborne said building homes is essential and that developers and planning authorities must take advantage of brownfield sites like Meridian Water.

He said: “We want to build more homes for more families and that is the way you make sure that the market doesn’t get overheated and make sure families in London not only can own their home but rent it as well.

“This site has been derelict for more than 20 years and we need to make sure it is built on and by coming here, I am making an absolute commitment to the Mayor and giving him the powers he needs for this to take place.

“The long term solution is to build more homes and if we can’t build on site like these, where can we build? It is absolutely essential.”

Mr Johnson hailed the potential of Meridian Water and said: “This is going to be an absolutely fantastic place to live and the funny thing is I have been here many times before because it is on my cycle route. I have been past it and I thought it must be pushed forward any time soon.

“It is going to be a place of mixed communities with social housing and homes that people can buy and that is vital to help people into housing of low cost that they can part buy and part rents.

“Why should London property market be restricted to affluent people who can afford the cost of a mortgage? You have to help people onto the property ladder and this what schemes like this will help to accomplish.”

When asked why the site, which has been derelict for more than 20 years, had not been redeveloped sooner, Mr Osborne said: “We didn’t have a combination of the planning rules being sorted out, which is what we are committing to do today and there was not the infrastructure, which we are also committing to.

“What is great about this is that we have a Labour MP, Andy Love, a Conservative MP, Nick de Bois, plus the Mayor of London and the local council all coming together to make this happen.”

The Mayor and Chancellor will be making £400 million available for 20 ‘housing zones’ across the capital and possible sites will be able to bid for a share of that pot.

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