London Housing Market, UK Government Set to Do Reforms

Today, the Housing Secretary is taking a rare step by intervening in the London Plan to boost housing delivery in the capital.

Michael Gove has repeatedly cautioned the Mayor of London that the current London Plan, which outlines how London will deliver homes, is hindering housebuilding in the capital and disappointing Londoners.

He has directed the Mayor of London to conduct a partial review of the London Plan and asked the Greater London Authority to report back findings in September. This review will focus on two key areas:

1. Industrial land: Around 6,800 hectares of land in the capital is used for industry. Of this, approximately 736 hectares, equivalent to about 900 football pitches, could potentially be transformed into housing developments.

However, these areas are stuck in the planning system, and developers have expressed that the current policy is overly restrictive.

2. Opportunity areas: These 47 areas across London have been identified by the Mayor and the Greater London Authority as having the potential to deliver at least 2,500 new homes or 5,000 new jobs (or a mix of both). However, many of these areas have made little progress, while others seem to have reached a plateau.

The Government has asked the Mayor to ensure the list of areas is targeted effectively, consider adjustments to other policies in the plan that restrict capacity or delivery, and explore the potential for a single planning framework to accelerate housing.

Housing Secretary Michael Gove stated:

“Londoners are being let down by the Mayor’s chronic underdelivery of new homes in the capital. We have already taken comprehensive action to reverse this trend – investing billions of pounds to build affordable homes and unlocking brownfield developments as part of our Long-Term Plan for Housing.”

“However, that alone will not build the homes we need, which is why I am now directing the Mayor to review aspects of the London Plan and announcing specialist support on planning to help unlock thousands of homes.”

“I look forward to continuing to work with the Greater London Authority, councils, and the sector so we can get spades in the ground and deliver the homes the capital needs.”

Minister for London Greg Hands added:

“It is unacceptable that Londoners don’t have access to the homes they need due to persistent under-delivery of home building, which is why we’re directing the Mayor to review London Plan policies.”

“This action comes on top of millions of pounds in government investment to regenerate estates, unlock major brownfield sites, and build thousands of new homes. But the government cannot act in isolation – we need the Greater London Authority to step up and work with us so we can provide affordable housing for all.”

Additionally, a new ‘super-squad’ of planners appointed by the Government will use their expertise to work across London to expedite planning decisions.

This specialist team will focus on complex cases that have been held up in the planning system. Newham and Greenwich have been prioritized, with £500,000 allocated to assist with planning applications and unlock over 7,000 homes.

Josh Alba
Josh Alba
Josh Alba stands at the forefront of contemporary business journalism, his words weaving narratives that illuminate the intricate workings of the corporate world. With a keen eye for detail and a penchant for uncovering the underlying stories behind financial trends, Josh has established himself as a trusted authority in business writing. Drawing from his wealth of experience and relentless pursuit of truth, Josh delivers insights that resonate with readers across industries.
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