• Press release

Response to government announcements on housing and planning

London Councils has responded to the government’s announcement on building new homes and the Secretary of State’s speech on reforming the planning system and regenerating urban areas.

Cllr Darren Rodwell, London Councils’ Executive Member for Regeneration, Housing & Planning, said:

“Boroughs are ready and willing to help deliver the homes our communities need, but this requires more local powers and resources for housebuilding.

“Despite massive challenges, boroughs are working hard to accelerate housebuilding and have made solid progress in recent years. London saw more council-built homes started in 2022 than any year since the 1970s.

“There are at least 143,000 potential new homes we could begin building immediately in London if the funding was in place, and we would welcome the prospect of enhanced government support for housing development and regeneration. We are calling for reform of Right to Buy receipts, increased grant allocations, and investment in new infrastructure so that we can truly turbocharge affordable housebuilding.

“The chronic shortage of affordable housing is the critical factor behind London’s skyrocketing homelessness figures. The situation is utterly unsustainable. There are 166,000 homeless Londoners living in temporary accommodation, including on average at least one homeless child in every London classroom.

“The focus must be on boosting delivery of affordable, high-quality homes. The government’s pledge to expand permitted development rights does not guarantee this will happen – in fact it brings serious risks. Boroughs must retain the ability to ensure housing is built to the right standards, in suitable locations, and with the necessary local infrastructure such as GP surgeries and transport connections.”  

ENDS

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