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07/04/2016

Mayoral candidates must deliver ‘credible plans’ to fill London’s housing gap

House builders want the mayoral candidates to adopt ‘realistic’ policies to deliver the increase in housing supply required to maintain London’s position as the ‘world’s capital city’.

Although the commitments made by the candidates to build more homes have been welcomed, the Home Builders Federation (HBF) says the industry now wants to see politicians adopt proposals it has published in its 10-point blueprint, Capitalising On Growth (pdf).

The HBF said the blueprint “encourages” the next mayor to develop a “credible plan” that builds on the “significant increases” in housing supply over the past two years to reduce the gap between supply and demand.

The recommendations laid out in the blueprint include:

  • Securing the deliverability of more housing sites. Viability issues presented by “additional obligations and requirements on developers” should be considered, particularly how they might affect the deliverability of a site.

  • Maintaining investment in London.

  • Cooperation with the wider South-East. London is “not an island” and cannot be viewed in isolation from the wider South-East. The next mayor should take an active approach to working with local authorities in the South-East to plan for the homes the region needs and base migration numbers from the capital to the region on “more concrete evidence”.

  • Effective planning resources. The new mayor should consider whether London is best served by having more than 30 separate monopolistic local authority planning services advising planning committees on applications, and what use London could make of new powers to introduce an element of competition into the planning application process while retaining the democratic decision-making.

  • Supporting the delivery of rented housing. A positive approach to the rental market as a means of securing viability of sites and to increase the speed of delivery, particularly on large strategic sites.

HBF executive chairman Stewart Baseley said: “If London is to maintain its status as the world’s capital city and keep on powering the national economy, it must continue to attract people, businesses and investment. The capital’s chronic housing shortage and resultant affordability crisis now threatens London’s status as a global powerhouse and can only be solved by a sustained increase in supply.

“In just two years, housing supply has increased by over 25 per cent, but we are still only delivering around half the number of homes needed. We need to maintain a strong investment environment for developers, keep sites deliverable and ensure that planning resources are in place so that builders can obtain planning permission and get on site as quickly as possible.”


Labour's Sadiq Khan's housing pledges can be found here.

Zac Goldsmith's, Conservative candidate, housing promises can be found here.

Liberal Democrat candidate Caroline Pdigeon's housing commitments can be found here.


Image credit | iStock

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