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Boris's plan 'will not tackle London's housing crisis'

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Boris's plan 'will not tackle London's housing crisis'

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Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Housing and also in Development, Local Government

London London

Boris Johnson has been told that his London Plan will not tackle the capital's housing crisis.

With the mayor's consultation on changes to the London Plan closing yesterday, London Assembly Labour Group planning spokesperson Nicky Gavron has said that the new housing target is too low to cope with demand.

The London Plan is the overarching policy framework setting out the strategic directions for planning in the capital.

According to Labour, London's population is projected to grow by the equivalent of a city the size of Birmingham within a decade - meaning Johnson's plan to increase the number of homes by 10,000 a year is too paltry.

This brings the mayor's revised target to 42,000 new homes a year - despite, says Labour, the mayor’s own evidence base identifying a need of between 49,000 and 62,000 new homes annually.

The Labour group has warned that the mayor's proposal that new homes over the 42,000 target should be built in town centres and on industrial land could, if unmanaged, pose a threat to thousands of Londoners’ jobs, whether in industrial locations, small start-up premises, offices, or retail.

Nicky Gavron AM said: “Despite his protestations, Boris is failing to genuinely address London’s housing crisis. Faced with a growth in population equivalent to the size of Birmingham in the next 10 years, his response is to increase his annual target by only 10,000 homes per year.

"He is committing himself to an annual housing target that is lower than the number his own evidence base says we need. The London Plan alterations set a target of 42,000 homes a year, but his own research shows real need is actually up to 62,000 a year.

“This target is too low, but even a low target may be too much of a challenge for Boris. The mayor has overseen a collapse in house building – numbers have been falling and in 2012/2013 there were only 21,000 new homes completed.

“The dash for housing land could threaten jobs if not properly managed. The mayor’s proposal to release land in town centres and strategic employment sites could pose a threat to jobs. But he doesn’t need to be doing that – he has the land he needs for housing without taking away the jobs. The main issue is delivery.”

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