Meet affordable housing target and get fast-track, Khan tells developers

Developers that voluntarily agree to meet the London mayor's affordable housing target could be given a fast-track through the planning process under plans being considered by the capital's mayor Sadiq Khan.

City Hall: drawing up supplementary planning guidance (picture by Clifton Beard, Flickr)
City Hall: drawing up supplementary planning guidance (picture by Clifton Beard, Flickr)

Speaking this morning at a Mayor’s Question Time session, Khan said his team is currently developing new supplementary planning guidance (SPG) that would seek to make the viability process "more consistent and transparent".

Khan told the meeting that, as part of drafting the SPG, he is "exploring an innovative new approach, whereby if applicants voluntarily meet an agreed level of affordable housing, they could benefit from a faster and more certain planning process".

Press reports have suggested that City Hall is considering plans for a non-negotiable 35 per cent rate of affordable housing for private sector schemes in the capital.

But Khan said today that this level had not been "finalised or announced". "I will set out details in a draft SPG that will be published for consultation later this autumn," Khan said.

Labour assembly member Tom Copley asked Khan whether the approach would mean that developers meeting the agreed level of affordable housing would get a "fast-track through", while those that did not would be put under "a lot more pressure during a viability assessment to make absolutely certain what you are proposing is true in terms of the figures".

Khan responded: "I wouldn’t have used those words, but it’s not an unfair summary of where we are going."

During the mayoral election campaign, Khan pledged a 50 per cent affordable housing target, but his deputy mayor for housing, James Murray, has since stated that the goal would be a long-term strategic target, rather than being applied on a site-by-site basis.

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