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OFF GRID: Councillor hits back at newspaper article on potential ban on new homes in Northwood

 Published on: 12th August 2022   |   By: Bryn Holmes   |   Category: Uncategorized

Northwood’s council has hit out at a story in a major newspaper claiming that the authority would face a house-building ban due to electricity grid issues.

In an article written for the Financial Times on July 28, it was claimed that reporters for the paper had seen a note written by the Greater London Authority (GLA), warning real estate developers that Hillingdon Borough Council would be barred from having new houses built until 2035.

This is allegedly due to the electricity grid running out of capacity, and also applies to the councils in Hounslow and Ealing. The authority blamed the power shortage on a series of planned new data centres to be built across the three boroughs.

However, councillor Eddie Lavery, cabinet member for residents’ services said: “This is a somewhat scaremongering story which has blown the reality of the situation out of proportion.

“We’re not aware of any housing schemes planned for the borough being affected. There is also evidence that power capacity has been reserved for developments that may never take place and this latent capacity should be made available to schemes that will be delivered.

“We understand the GLA is working hard to resolve the situation as quickly as possible, in the meanwhile, we have every confidence we’ll be delivering on our housing promises.”

If the story is accurate, it could lead to further worries about the ongoing housing shortage in London.

A spokesperson for the Mayor (and thus the GLA) said: “The Mayor is very concerned that electricity capacity constraints in three West London boroughs are creating a significant challenge for developers securing timely connections to the electricity network, which could affect the delivery of thousands of much-needed homes.

“Sadiq requested a meeting with the government weeks ago, which has now been accepted. In the midst of a housing crisis, he is calling on ministers to work with him to resolve this issue urgently.

“The Mayor’s team is also working closely with the network providers responsible, to seek solutions to mitigate the potential delays and unlock the issue. These solutions do not affect planning permission.”

Photo Credit: Christian Guthier

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