'End land banking in London'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Central Government, Development, Local Government
A member of the London Assembly has called for an end to land banking in the capital, and has supported calls for developers to lose their planning permission should they fail to build.
Nicky Gavron, the Labour Group's planning spokesperson, claimed that tackling land banking would see up to 210,000 new homes built in the city.
Speaking at last week's party conference in Brighton, Labour leader Ed Miliband pledged to end land banking should Labour win 2015's general election.
The proposals would allow councils to impose escalating fees on developers who refuse to build, backed up by the threat of compulsory purchase orders for the very worst offenders. This would give councils the tools they need to effectively tackle land banking, where developers maximise value by sitting on land instead of building on it.
Nicky Gavron AM, said: “Use it or lose it planning permission is a fair yet forceful way to shift the 210,000 homes in London which have planning permission but are not being built. Under the current system, developers find it more profitable to sit on land than to build on it. This is an innovative response to the land banking that is much to blame for our housing crisis.
“Only 18,000 homes were completed in London last year, less than half of the 40,000 that the Mayor admits he needs to build and far short of the 52,000 to 60,000 that experts say are needed. There’s crying need for homes across all tenures, but especially for people on low to modest incomes.
“The national house building programme is also great news for the capital. London must already accommodate a rapidly rising population, but if the rest of the southeast fails to meet its own needs, particularly for affordable housing, then the pressure on London could be even greater.”