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London Housing Zones unveiled

Words: Laura Edgar

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, has named London’s first Housing Zones for fast-tracking 28,000 new dwellings.

The zones are spread out across the city, Johnson explained, to bring forward regeneration, transforming areas of London with £260 million of new investment to deliver 28,000 new homes.

The status has been awarded to areas identified by London boroughs as key opportunity sites to “maximise development, fast-track homes and deliver much-needed infrastructure to boost development”.

The Housing Zones are in the boroughs of:

•    Barking and Dagenham – Barking Town Centre. Potential for 2,000 homes, 4,000 jobs and improved public space.
•    Bexley – Abbey Wood and South Thamesmead. Expected to create 1,300 homes and thousands of jobs.
•    Ealing – Expected creation of  4,345 new homes, 1,785 to be affordable
•    Royal Borough of Greenwich (in partnership with Peabody Trust) – Abbey Wood, Plumstead and Thamesmead. Expected to provide 1,512 homes (44 per cent affordable), and 3,024 jobs.
•    Haringey – Provision of 10,000 new homes built and 5,000 jobs.
•    Harrow – Heart of Harrow, including Harrow and Wealdstone town centres. 5,000 homes and acceleration of the council’s private rented sector programme.
•    Hounslow – Hounslow town centre. Delivery of 3,478 homes, 1,383 of which will be affordable and creation of 7,000 jobs.
•    Lewisham – Potential for 2,400 new homes and more than 2,000 new jobs
•    Wandsworth – Clapham Junction to Battersea Riverside. Attract £1.4 billion of investment for 5,000 new homes, new commercial space and 1,300 new jobs.


Measures agreed for the zones include upgrades to five rail stations, five new schools, four new bridges, two new civic centres, a new park, shops and libraries. Additionally, the areas will benefit from 9,000 low-cost homes built for some of London’s key workers and the release of publicly owned land for development, said Johnson.

He added: “London's population continues to boom, already at its highest since records began and with more growth predicted, housing is a huge challenge. We need to double house building and provide a million more homes by 2025. These innovative new Housing Zones - the first of their kind in the UK - will trigger regeneration and turbo-boost the transformation of the capital's brownfield sites, creating tens of thousands of new homes for hard-working Londoners in first-class new neighbourhoods.”

Ravi Govindia, leader of Wandsworth Council, explained that at the core of its housing zone the Winstanley and York Road estates will be transformed, with every homeowner and council tenant being offered a new home so that local families are able to remain in Battersea and benefit from its regeneration.

 Johnson explained that the Housing Zones would:
-    Allow for the redevelopment of 1,897.42 hectares of brownfield land
-    Create more 56,000 construction jobs on 52 schemes
-    In total, these and future housing zones are expected to create 50,000 new homes

"Housing Zone status will provide certainty and bring all of the key players to the table with a clear focus on delivering much-needed improvement and change to this area over the next 10 years. Our ambitious proposals for this part of Battersea include more than 5,000 new homes, new leisure and community facilities, an extensive upgrade to the Clapham Junction transport hub, a new pedestrian bridge across the Thames and plans to reconnect Clapham Junction town centre with the riverside.”

An additional 20 Housing Zones are expected to be announced later this year, and their status will remain until 2025.