UK Construction Media

Mayor of London's new planning measures to boost affordable housing

News   •   Aug 18, 2017 08:30 BST

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, has unveiled brand new measures intended to boost affordable housing across the capital.

Through his Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) scheme, Mr Khan is promising developers safe passage through the planning process, providing their developments meet a minimum requirement of affordable housing provision - 35% on private land and 50% on public.

Those developments that make the grade will be rewarded with fast-tracking through London's planning quagmire. There's a caveat however. All developments must be underway within two years of initial planning approval. Any developer that fails to do so risks intense scrutiny from City Hall, with particular focus on the financial modelling underpinning their proposals.

Likewise, should a developer shirk its commitment to affordable housing, City Hall will publish online their financials - an act of public shaming. A portion of any "unexpected profits" will also be reinvested into other affordable housing schemes.

Quite wisely, the Mayor of London is wary of exploitation. In June, developers put forward plans to cut affordable housing at Battersea Power Station by 40% - a sizable reduction on the approved planning application.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, had this to say: “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.

“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.

“I’m determined to ensure we don’t have a repeat of what happened at Battersea Power Station, 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.”