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Housebuilding programme for SMEs launched

12 February 2018 | By Will Mann

Mayor of London Sadiq Khan has launched a pilot programme for small homebuilders using publicly owned land belonging to Transport for London (TfL).

The “Small Sites, Small Builders” programme will kick off with 10 development sites with capacity for between two and 42 homes. The plots will deliver 111 new homes, 68% affordable.

The sites will be made more accessible for smaller builders through a simple bidding process with standardised contracts.

Land at Cable Street, near the Shadwell DLR in Tower Hamlets, and a site at Christchurch Road in Lambeth, will both be earmarked for community-led housing and will deliver 100% affordable housing.

The mayor said he had begun discussions with other public sector landowners about using their small sites for housing too. A review of the new process for bringing forward the 10 TfL pilot sites will be carried out to determine how and when the programme can be used by other public land owners in the capital.

The 10 TfL sites will go towards the mayor’s target for 50% affordable housing across its portfolio on sites brought forward since Khan took office. Levels of affordable housing on individual sites will vary while ensuring the target of 50% across the portfolio will be delivered, the mayor’s office said.

Khan said: “For far too long, London’s housing market has been over-reliant on large developers building the majority of our homes on large brownfield sites. The number of small sites coming forward has halved in the last decade, and we have lost almost a third of all small and medium-sized homebuilders operating in the capital.

“Through my new small sites programme, I want to make more public land available to help contribute not only to tackling the housing crisis in London, but also to reinvigorating our small and medium-sized homebuilding sector. I also want to provide more opportunities for Community Land Trusts, which is why I have earmarked two sites specifically for community-led housing.

“I am leading the way by bringing forward TfL sites to pilot my new approach, and I want to offer a real opportunity for small builders and community-led housing groups to play their part in building the new and genuinely affordable homes Londoners so desperately need.”

Image: Sunil060902/Wikimedia Commons

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