It's finally out - the draft London Plan
The consultation period for the new draft London Plan officially starts today. The Mayor of London has included an ambitious target for London borough councils to build 65,000 homes every year over the next decade – a figure that is around double the current rate of housebuilding.
Within the Mayor's target of 650,000 homes over the next ten years, 250,000 homes are to be built in the outer boroughs, with the biggest housing targets in Barnet and Croydon. The plans have drawn criticism, with Conservatives at City Hall accusing the Mayor of "declaring war on the suburbs".
In order to make these aims a reality, Sadiq Khan has pledged his support for tall buildings and high density housing. Housebuilders have thus far reacted positively to this announcement, with the Chief Executive of the Federation of Master Builders describing the new approach as a "welcome initiative". However, a Conservative spokesperson warned that it would lead to "rabbit hutch developments."
The Mayor's tactic aims to increase supply whilst reducing the number of cars in the capital. The draft Plan encourages developers to focus on "Growth Corridors" which should be planned in co-ordination with "Opportunity Areas", with the Plan highlighting the many new transport links that will relieve pressure across the capital, such as Crossrail 2, new river crossings and an extension to the Bakerloo line.
Throughout the Plan, the Mayor outlines his "Good Growth" strategy which focuses on sustainable development. Developers are encouraged to tackle the city's poor air-quality and the inactivity of Londoners, such as through the use of cycle-storage units. There is a push for buildings to improve their energy efficiency in order to contribute to London's target of becoming zero-carbon by 2050, together with an emphasis on efficient waste management – with 95% of construction waste to be recycled by 2020.
The Mayor has also re-affirmed his target for 50% of new homes to be "genuinely affordable". The Plan sets out the net housing completion targets for each local planning authority, with the Mayor significantly increasing the targets since the last London Plan in a bid to address the city's housing crisis. The Mayor announces an expectation that affordable rents should be substantially below what is currently considered affordable according to the National Planning Policy Framework, and he also provides policy for the growing build to rent sector.
We will provide a follow up blog looking more closely at the affordable housing policies.
The consultation period ends at 5pm on Friday 2 March 2018. You can view the new draft London Plan here.