Khan 'defends London Plan housing targets and green belt stance'

London mayor Sadiq Khan has reportedly hit back at planning inspectors who recommended that the new London Plan's "unrealistic" housing targets should be slashed by 20 per cent and called for a green belt review in the capital.

Sadiq Khan at the Centre for London conference 2018. Image: Centre for London
Sadiq Khan at the Centre for London conference 2018. Image: Centre for London

In an examination report, published last month, a panel of three inspectors said the London mayor’s target for delivering homes on small sites was based on "arbitrary" growth assumptions and were not realistically achievable.

The inspectors called on Khan to reduce the plan’s overall ten-year housing target by nearly a fifth, from 649,350 to 522,850, equating to 52,285 homes per year.

In addition, the inspectors said the maor should commit to a review of London's green belt during preparation of the next iteration of the London Plan.

However, according to a report on the On London news website, Khan said last week: "Our analysis of the need for housing in London is correct. And we can deliver those homes within London’s boundaries with no development on the green belt."

Speaking at the Centre for London’s annual conference, the mayor said he believed the inspectors had underestimated the contribution that small builders could make towards housing delivery.

"The big boy developers dominate large-scale construction and that squeezes out small builders," he said. "But small sites encourage small builders."

The inspector's recommendations are non-binding and Khan is yet to respond to their report.

Khan’s comments suggest he may be set to reject some of the inspectors’ recommendations when submitting his response and a revised plan for approval by the secretary of state.

A spokesman for the mayor said: "The mayor will set out his position on the housing targets when he releases his ‘intend to publish’ version of the London Plan towards the end of this year." 


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