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Khan accused of wasting land for 27,000 homes

Words: Laura Edgar
London / Shutterstock_68997331

Hundreds of hectares of mostly vacant land designated in Housing Zones will be neglected for housing as a result of new regulations in Mayor of London’s Sadiq Khan’s London Plan, according to London Assembly member Andrew Boff.

Published in late November, the draft London Plan includes increased regulation on Strategic Industrial Land.

This means councils will have to provide like-for-like alternatives if the sites are used for housing.

Andrew Boff AM stated that according to his own research, in London’s 13 designated Housing Zones, introduced by previous mayor Boris Johnson, 491 hectares of under-used Strategic Industrial Land could deliver 27,000 homes.  

Using mid-range estimates, he said, Strategic Industrial Land in Southwark has the potential to provide 6,000 homes, while Hillingdon could deliver 4,000 and Brent 3,000.

Boff wants the mayor to capitalise on this land and scrap plans for additional Strategic Industrial Land regulations within London’s Housing Zones, allowing local authorities to free up the sites for developers.

He said: “London absolutely needs a percentage of designated industrial land. However, when an area is listed as a Housing Zone it seems counter-productive to block homes being built on parts of it that are otherwise sitting vacant.”

The new draft London Plans makes its easier for someone to build a small block of flats in their back garden but made it more difficult to build on a large area of wasteland, Boff added. “It’s a backwards approach to solving the housing crisis.”

“This underused land sits within zones specifically designated for housing. The mayor needs to make the most of this opportunity and reconsider these unnecessary regulations. The London Plan shouldn't ignore the contradictions between housing and industrial policy – it should help to resolve them.”

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