by Head of Research, Nicola Almond

The new draft London Plan published today sees increasing house building in the suburbs as a key factor in solving the capital’s housing crisis. Sadiq Khan announced plans to build more than 250,000 homes in the 13 Outer London boroughs by 2029; almost 40% of the total target of 650,000 across London.

Conservative housing spokesman and London Assembly member Andrew Boff accused Khan of ‘declaring war on the suburbs’, with plans to relax rules on protecting gardens, parking provision and density limits. Density limits are being removed in order to boost the number of homes near town centres and transport hubs.

According to the plan, a third of all new homes will be built on small sites, where barriers to development are to be removed to encourage small developers back into the market. These sites will be a combination of infill and end of terrace sites, back gardens, and upwards extensions to existing buildings. In an unprecedented move, all boroughs are to be given targets for homes on small sites. This is aimed at increasing provision in the outer boroughs, many of which have a poor housebuilding record.

East London remains a focus for growth, with the boroughs of Newham and Tower Hamlets having the highest overall housing targets – at 38,500 and 35,110 homes respectively. The Outer London boroughs of Barnet and Croydon each have targets of 30,000.

The previously announced objective for half of all new homes to be ‘affordable’ (ie. not for outright private sale or private rent) was confirmed. At least 50% of homes built on public land and 35% on private land will have to be ‘affordable’.

Overall we support the measures announced in the draft plan, and welcome the increased focus on the outer London boroughs. In March this year Anne Currell gave a presentation which proposed that we should look to the suburbs to help solve the housing crisis, both in terms of available building land and property sale/rental price levels which are genuinely ‘affordable’ for ordinary Londoners.

New Homes director Matt Cobb says:

“There is great potential for the provision of new homes in the suburbs, especially in East London. We hope to play a part in this, with the opening of our Currell office in Barking next year. It’s interesting to see that Sadiq Khan chose Barking Riverside – one of the largest regeneration projects in Europe – as the place to announce the new draft London Plan today”.