London mayor tears up rulebook to boost housing
London Mayor Sadiq Khan has launched his new London Plan, ripping up old housing rules in a bid to boost housebuilding in the capital.
The plan, which was launched yesterday, includes a number of new initiatives, including:
- Removing density limits to boost the number of homes built near town centres and transport hubs.
- Development on sites that do not clearly maximise housing density should be refused
- Councils – working with developers and housing associations – should take a case-by-case approach to each site to determine its capacity based on surrounding infrastructure.
- An aim to build 65,000 homes a year, roughly double the current rate of homebuilding.
The plan also deals with industrial land, suggesting innovative solutions such as stacking up distribution sheds and encouraging development of industrial workspaces alongside new housing.
The mayor said: “With London’s population expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million in 2041, it’s vital we properly plan for growth with new affordable homes in every area of the capital.
“I am using all of the powers at my disposal in my first draft London Plan to tackle the housing crisis head on – removing ineffective constraints on homebuilders so that we can make the most of precious land in the capital to build more homes in areas with the best transport links.
“My London Plan sets out how we are planning for the challenges our great city faces, but crucially focuses on my vision of a London that welcomes growth, celebrates its diversity and ensures every Londoner gets the opportunity to fulfil their potential.”
Commenting on the plan, Greg Hill, deputy chief executive of housebuilder Hill, said: “It is refreshing to see Sadiq Khan taking the housing crisis by the horns with his first draft London Plan.
“At a time when demand in the capital outweighs supply, removing outdated and complicated constraints around density guidelines is encouraging and welcome. It is therefore vital local authorities support this ambition and work with the housebuilding community to deliver well-designed schemes of appropriate density in the right locations.
He added: “Of course, building enough homes to meet Khan’s ambitious targets requires more than just government support and successful partnerships. Attracting and retaining the right talent and resource to build the homes is crucial.
“Housebuilding must be prioritised as part of Brexit negotiations on migration and workers’ rights. If we don’t have the people, we can’t build the homes.”
The draft London Plan is published for consultation on 1 December 2017 and is available here.