Up to 50,000 London homes to be built in brownfield scheme

Chancellor George Osborne visits Barratt Homes Help to Buy housing development in Lewisham Chancellor George Osborne visited a housing development in Lewisham on Thursday

Related Stories

Up to 50,000 new London homes are to be built on 20 brownfield sites, in a £400m scheme announced by the Treasury.

The homes will be built on "housing zones", where planning restrictions are removed to get homes built quickly.

The new zones are in line with a shake-up of planning rules to support house building announced by the chancellor at London's Mansion House on Thursday.

Labour said it is "too little too late" as Mayor Boris Johnson has built only a third of 63,000 homes needed annually.

In the past, Mr Johnson has been criticised by opposition parties for not building enough affordable homes. These new homes will include affordable properties.

In February, it emerged there would be a £120m underspend on building affordable homes, from a budget of £283m for 2013-14, which the mayor's critics say indicate that he is failing to meet his target to build 100,000 affordable homes over his two terms, which ends in May 2016.

Analysis

For years we've been told that building on former industrial sites is the answer to London's housing crisis. The trouble is that no-one seems to have made that a reality.

Developers haven't fallen over themselves to build on brownfield sites. The land is often contaminated and expensive to clean; getting planning permission to build can be a lengthy and costly process and putting in new roads and train links can prove tricky.

Most observers feel it's a step in the right direction - a gentle prod to the developers, with the promise of clean land and new infrastructure - as long as they promise to build the homes quickly. The state is playing its part, but the ball is now in the developers' court.

The mayor's office said since he was elected to the office in 2008, 75,000 affordable homes have been built and he is still on target.

Additional powers for mayor

The chancellor and mayor launched the scheme at Meridian Water, an 85 hectare former industrial site in Enfield Meridian Water in Enfield, north London, where 5,000 homes, a new school and community facilities are to be built.

Tottenham Hale in north London, Southall in west London, South Poplar in east London and Winstanley and York Road in Wandsworth, south-west London, are other areas earmarked as potentially suitable for building.

The housing zones scheme works by councils identifying brownfield land which could be used for development, removing certain planning restrictions across it and partnering with a developer to build new homes.

The removal of particular planning constraints in these zones will significantly accelerate construction, the government hopes.

In November, the mayor's Housing Strategy set out plans for 10 potential housing zones.

The announcement will double that as central government and the Greater London Authority will each offer £200m for 20 zones.

To speed up the building of these homes, the government will also grant the mayor additional powers, in the form of Mayoral Development Orders, to remove planning obstacles.

Chancellor George Osborne The chancellor announced a shake-up of planning rules to support house building at Mansion House on Thursday

Mr Osborne said: "The new housing zones will be a shot in the arm for house building in London, creating tens of thousands of new homes for hardworking families across the capital."

'Too little, too late'

Speaking to BBC London 94.9, Mr Johnson acknowledged the scheme was a "just a fraction of what needs to be done".

"Total demand in London is probably around 49,000 homes a year and we think we can supply a maximum of 42,000 homes and we need to go a bit higher and this effort is part of that," he said.

He said about 400,000 homes could be built on 33 brownfield sites in London over the next decade.

"When you get up to those numbers you are starting to get near the sort of numbers you need to crack the problem," he said.

Labour London Assembly member Tom Copley said the scheme was "interesting", but the homes need to be "genuinely affordable" and of good quality.

"Boris Johnson has utterly failed Londoners on house building over the past six years of his mayoralty. He is currently only building a third of the 63,000 new homes we need in London each year.

"This is too little, too late from Boris. He's been in office for six years now, but he is only building a third of the homes London needs to keep pace with our growing city."

The government will also be creating 10 new housing zones outside London, which will be backed by up to £200m of central government loans for infrastructure and clean-up work on the sites.

More on This Story

Related Stories

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites

BBC London

Weather

London

14 °C 9 °C

BBC Local Live

  1.  
    News on the hour 10:58: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • Pressure is growing on the Lord Mayor of London to resign as chair of the government-ordered inquiry into historical child abuse in public institutions.
    • A 16-year-old accused of stabbing another boy to death in a row over the sale of a £90 bicycle has changed his plea to guilty on the second day of his murder trial at the Old Bailey.
     
  2.  
    Calls for more city powers 10:50: BBC Business

    Allowing UK cities to make their own decisions on tax and spending could boost economic growth by £79bn a year by 2030, a year-long study has concluded.

    Manchester

    The amount equates to boosting current UK productivity by 5%, said the RSA City Growth Commission, which conducted the study.

    It is pushing for draft legislation to be in place by 2015.

     
  3.  
    Wildlife Photographer Award 10:38:

    A stark image of lions resting on a rock outcrop in the Serengeti has won the 2014 Wildlife Photographer of the Year (WPY) Award.

    Lions in the Serengeti

    WPY is organised by London's Natural History Museum (NHM) and BBC Wildlife Magazine.

    An exhibition featuring the best photos opens at the NHM on Friday.

     
  4.  
    Theatre evacuated 10:30: London Evening Standard Newspaper

    An investigation has been today launched into the cause of a fire that forced an evacuation at a London theatre and cinema complex, the London Evening Standard reports.

    More than 400 people fled the Tricycle in Kilburn High Road as fire crews tackled the blaze in a kitchen above a neighbouring medical centre last night.

     
  5.  
    Sheep crosses London Bridge 10:14:

    Anita Klein tweets: A man walking his sheep over London Bridge this morning. As you do. #SE1 #LondonBridge

    A sheep walking over the bridge
     
  6.  
    News on the hour 10:04: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour include:

    • The government has dismissed as "nonsense" claims by Labour that increasing use of private ambulances in London is more evidence of the creeping privatisation of the NHS.
    • A London MP has tabled a motion in the House of Commons calling for an investigation into reports that a gay couple were ordered off a bus for kissing.
     
  7.  
    Watch: 'Fierce battle' ahead 09:59:

    Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger says he expects a "fierce battle" when his team take on Belgian side Anderlecht in the Champions League on Wednesday.

    Arsene Wenger

    The Gunners travel to Brussels with three points from their first two matches in the competition, hoping to keep pace with Group D leaders Borussia Dortmund.

     
  8.  
    'Quietways' announced 09:30:

    Phase two of London's cycle "Quietways" scheme has been announced, extending segregated cycle lanes and junction changes to all 32 boroughs.

    Artists impression of the new lanes

    Phase one comprises seven routes in 15 boroughs, the first of which are due to open in spring 2015 and phase two would re-shape roads and junctions in Ealing and Twickenham town centres and other major thoroughfares.

     
  9.  
    Community 'split' 09:21:

    Residents of Leyton are split over a plan to stop drivers using a number of roads as a "rat-run" - This Is London Local reports today.

    People living in six roads off Lea Bridge Road are split over an attempt to prevent roads in the Barclay Estate being used as a rat-run.

     
  10.  
    Chair should stand down 09:10:

    The Lord Mayor of London - who chairs of the public inquiry into historical sex abuse - should step down, a lawyer representing victims has said.

    Fiona Woolf

    Alison Millar said Fiona Woolf lacked "credibility" among victims and had "no background" in child protection.

     
  11.  
    News on the hour 09:00: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    The headlines this hour:

    • The government has dismissed as "nonsense" claims by Labour that the increasing use of private ambulances in London is more evidence of the creeping privatisation of the NHS.
    • The Lord Mayor of London is under growing pressure to resign as the chair of the inquiry into historical child sex abuse in public institutions.
     
  12.  
    Dead cyclist named 08:50:

    A cyclist who died three days after a collision with a lorry in the City of London has been named by police.

    Janina Gehlau

    Janina Gehlau, 26, was on Ludgate Hill, close to the junction with Farringdon Street, when the crash happened at about 11:30 on Friday morning.

     
  13.  
    Coming up 08:40: BBC London 94.9 Radio

    With Vanessa from 09:00, Dentists say it would help tackle shocking levels of tooth decay.

    Should teachers have to teach children to clean their teeth?

    What do you think? Call 020 7224 2000.

     
  14.  
    Watch: Car-free Oxford Street 08:26:

    London's Oxford Street is "doomed to decline" unless it is pedestrianised by 2020, a report has suggested.

    Oxford Street

    Problems with congestion, pollution and safety needed to be resolved, The Case for Pedestrianisation report by the London Assembly Liberal Democrats said.

     
  15.  
    Broken Down Lorry 08:22: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    On the A2, a broken down lorry in the Eltham Tunnel is causing queues back to Dartford Heath.

    For the latest travel news go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  16.  
    Road Delays 08:16: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    An accident on the A40 eastbound, at the Polish War Memorial is causing delays from Hillingdon

    For the latest travel news go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  17.  
    Latest headlines
     
  18.  
    Lighter Winds 08:09:

    It will be a cool start to the day, but there should be plenty of sunshine this morning with much lighter winds than yesterday.

    It should remain dry through the afternoon, however it will become cloudier and more breezy. Maximum temperature: 14C (57F).

     
  19.  
    Train Delays 08:03: Louise Pepper Journalist, BBC London

    Southern Trains have delays out of London Bridge because of a signalling problem.

    For the latest travel news go to our travel page or on Twitter @BBCLondonTravel.

     
  20.  
    Good Morning 08:00: Duncan Smith BBC News Online

    I'll be bringing you the latest news, sport, travel and weather from across the capital today for BBC Local Live.

    You can also send your news, pictures and comments to london.locallive@bbc.co.uk or tweet @BBCLondonNews.

     

Features

BBC © 2014 The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.