Hitting new London Plan home targets will be 'very challenging', says senior borough planner

A borough whose housing requirement has trebled under the new new draft London Plan will find it 'very challenging' to meet their new target, its strategic planning chief has told the Planning for Housing conference.

Rob Krszyzowski speaking at the Planning for Housing conference yesterday
Rob Krszyzowski speaking at the Planning for Housing conference yesterday

Speaking at a session on housing need, Rob Krszyzowski, spatial planning manager at the London Borough of Brent, said that planning for infrastructure requirements, open space protection and getting the right mix of homes will remain key tasks for London boroughs irrespective of uncertainties over basic housing need totals.

Krszyzowski went on to say that providing the numbers of new homes required under the mayor's London Plan "will be very challenging". 

The borough's annual requirement is set to rise from a 2010 core strategy figure of around 1,000 homes to almost 3,000 under the draft revised London Plan scheduled for examination early next year. "We are worried about being hit with the stick of the housing delivery test," he added.

The latest household growth projections, issued in September, pointed to a much lower local housing need need figure of 1,300 homes, he said. "That's quite a significant drop. We think it's too low - it won't meet our local needs. We are planning for about 2,500 as realistic for us."

"However, the housing need figure is just the starting point," said Krszyzowski, "We want to make sure we have the infrastructure to support this very ambitious growth."

Policy protection for industrial land suited to the skills of the local community will be "absolutely key", he added.

"We also have to take into account protective policies, such as metropolitan open land. We want to be ambitious about housing growth, but we do have to think about planning protections that are important to local pople and to London's strategic green infrastructure," said Krszyzowski.

"Housing mix is also important. You have to consider all elements - affordable housing, families with children, older peple and so on. The overall housing need figure doesn't give you the answer to this. You still need the evidence to justify what you're doing - the standard method doesn't do that job for you."

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