An application for a development of homes and business space in Bell Green with no affordable housing was approved at a planning committee meeting – despite councillors’ concerns.

Planning approval for the six, seven and eight-storey building with 23 apartments and space for businesses in Lower Sydenham was deferred at a planning committee six weeks ago.

Councillors’ concerns included the developer IMA Projects Two Limited’s financial viability assessment, which sets out why it could not provide affordable housing.

Lewisham Council has a target of 50 per cent affordable housing on all developments.

Air quality, design and a lack of affordable housing also remained concerns for councillors, but they were not grounds on which the committee could refuse planning permission, the committee heard.

A resident criticised the method in which air quality around the development was determined, but councillors were only able to make their decision on the reports made by council officers.

Other objections included anti-social behaviour concerns and the pressure on local services.

Cllr Alan Smith said while air quality was a “major concern and a national disgrace”, it was not something which could be solved at a local level.

Cllr Smith moved a proposal to reject the planning application because of the viability report, in which the developer would include affordable housing once more than 17 per cent profit was made.

But council officers were confident they would be able to monitor the developer’s profits once 75 per cent of the flats were sold.

Withdrawing his rejection, Cllr Smith said: “we have pushed it as hard as we can.”

Cllr Jim Mallory, who voted for the development, was still concerned about a lack of affordable housing and the benefit the development would bring to the community.

He said: “I think we need to look over our own planning policy before we even get here.”