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Report: Only a third of London authorities have a policy supporting Build to Rent

Words: Laura Edgar
Flats / iStock

Nearly half of local authorities in London make no reference to the Build to Rent sector in their planning policy, with only a ‘minority’ having a ‘constructive’ position set out, a report by planning consultancy Nexus Planning has suggested.

Planning for London’s Build to Rent Future notes that the sector has evolved rapidly, with developers and investors embracing the opportunities the sector brings as it matures.

Additionally, it says there are about 60,000 new Build to Rent homes that have been completed, are under construction, or have been granted planning permission, with the sector now being reflected in planning policy across the capital.

However, Nexus Planning says local authorities are still “neglecting” Build to Rent.

Out of the 33 local authorities in Greater London, half do not reference Build to Rent in their adopted or emerging planning policies.

Further to this, the report says that while about half of local authorities do reference or acknowledge the sector in planning policy or guidance documents, only 30 per cent take clear positions on the sector, evident through guidance and policy papers.

The report goes on to highlight examples of best practice that support Build to Rent.

Amanda Balson, executive director at Nexus Planning and co-author of the paper, said: “This research illustrates the major Build to Rent policy discrepancies between local authorities in London. Some have embraced Build to Rent as a practical and responsible solution to tackling the London housing crisis, but the majority of local policymakers are not getting to grips with this important sector.”

She said that given there are 60,000 Build to Rent homes either completed, under construction or with planning permission, it is “surprising to find that the clear majority of local authorities have only limited regard for this growing sector”.

Planning for London’s Build to Rent Future can be found on Nexus Planning’s website (pdf).

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