Planning and Housing

16.08.17

Khan reveals new rules to ‘fast track’ affordable housing developments

New planning rules have today been set out by the mayor of London that will allow for a major increase to the number of affordable developments in the capital.

Plans in Sadiq Khan’s Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) will aim to raise affordable housing levels by offering developers of private land a ‘fast track’ route through the planning process if they meet a strict minimum of 35% affordable housing without public funding.

The developments should then get underway within two years of planning permission being granted, or else companies will face detailed scrutiny of the financial modelling behind plans.

Alongside news of the SPG, City Hall has also written to all London councils urging them to make use of the mayor’s expert viability team if developers try to reduce affordable housing levels after planning permission has been granted.

Though the mayor has no formal powers to intervene in cases where it is the local council’s decision, Khan is pushing for a greater hand in local planning decisions after developers put forward plans to cut affordable housing at Battersea Power Station by 40%.

“The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing Londoners today with too many people – particularly the younger generation – being priced out of our city, unable to afford a home,” Khan stated.

“I’ve been honest with Londoners from the start – we can’t turn things round overnight. But we’re working hard to tackle the issue every day and we've already agreed to put £1.7bn of the investment that I secured from government into 50,000 new and genuinely affordable homes to rent and buy.

“This investment will work hand-in-hand with the new approach for developers that I’m introducing today, which will allow them to benefit from a fast track through the planning system if they offer more affordable housing and get building quickly.”

The mayor added that he was determined to ensure that what happened at Battersea Power Station was not repeated, with developers unacceptably reducing the number of affordable homes on site after planning permission was granted. 

“That’s why I’ve written to all councils offering City Hall’s expertise in robustly scrutinising applications to ensure we see the new and genuinely affordable homes built that Londoners desperately need,” he said.

Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ executive member for housing, added that a lack of affordable homes remains a huge challenge for London and therefore “we welcome the mayor’s plans to provide new homes and particularly affordable homes for Londoners”.

“Boroughs are a key part of tackling this issue, not only through direct building, but also in helping identify public land and working with developers to facilitate new homes,” he continued.

“It is encouraging to see the mayor’s acknowledgement of this, which will give a boost to joint working between boroughs and City Hall as we do our utmost to meet the need for homes.”

And Ian Fletcher, director of policy (real estate) at the British Property Federation, argued that delivering a greater number of affordable homes in London is fundamental if the capital is to continue to grow and deliver the vital services that everyone uses.

“Our sector relies on a thriving London economy and, through initiatives like Build to Rent, has been seeking to ensure we deliver more homes to cater for the capital’s population,” he said.

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Comments

Aleks   17/08/2017 at 11:08

I would like to understand what price 'affordable housing' would be, because a lot of new builds in London class £400K for a single room flat as affordable - which is totally crazy and not affordable at all for a person buying by themselves

John Gilligan   12/09/2017 at 21:04

LONDONERS ARE BEING PRICED OUT OF LONDON AND THE GREEN BELT IS BEING PROTECTED , SO WHERE ARE WE GOING TO LIVE THEN IF NO NEW HOUSES CAN BE BUILT ON GREEN BELT, SOMETHING HAS GOT TO GIVE, I SUGESTED SERIOUSLY FOR ME AND MY FAMILY TO EMIGRATE TO AUSTRALIA FOR THE SIMPLE REASON ENGLAND HAS NO IDEAS LEFT FOR NEW HOMES , LONDON IS EXCLUSIVLY FOR THE RICH AND THE GREEN BELT POLICY IS STAGNENT,

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