London planning chief unveils 66,000 annual homes target for the capital

The forthcoming London Plan will aim to provide for 66,000 homes per annum - 17,000 more than the existing version of the document aims to deliver - it was revealed today.

Jules Pipe, London’s deputy mayor for planning, regeneration and skills, told an event at the MIPIM UK property festival that providing more housing was one of the key themes of the plan, which will be published at the end of November.

The plan would be looking to provide 66,000 units per annum during the lifetime of the document, he said.

Pipe added that the plan "would be looking to deliver all of that within London’s boundary and that's what the plan will set out to do".

But he told Planning that the GLA would still be writing to other authorities in the greater South East to explore any opportunities in the wider region to help deliver London’s housing need.

He he added that the plan would not look to develop on the green belt other than derelict industrial land.

The existing housing target for the capital is 49,000 homes per year, set out in Further Alterations to the London Plan in 2015.

Pipe said the key themes of the plan would be "building strong and inclusive communities" and "growing a good economy". He said the plan would identify new opportunity areas as well as taking forward existing ones.

The event heard that the mayor’s affordable housing policy, and in particular the 35 per cent threshold for enabling schemes to be fast-tracked through the planning system, had started to produce positive results.

Nigel Evans, of EG London Residential Research, said latest research carried out by it indicated that the proportion of schemes adhering to the 35 percent threshold had increased from 15 per cent last year to 22 per cent so far this year.

Pipe said schemes on public sector land would be expected to deliver 50 per cent affordable housing, as would developments on strategic industrial land.

He added that in some east London boroughs, flexibility on CIL rates would be provided to enable schemes to deliver 50 per cent affordable housing.

Pipe said the GLA would look to review the 35 per cent target in the early 2020s.

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