London Land Commission
On 20 February 2015, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne set out plans to help London meet its target of over 400,000 new homes by 2025. Ref Gov.uk Plans to help deliver over 400,000 homes for London set out by Chancellor.
The announcement included the establishment of a London Land Commission, based at the Greater London Authority (GLA), tasked with identifying public sector brownfield land in London that is no longer needed, to help ensure that all the capital’s brownfield sites are developed by 2025
A Treasury statement suggested that the London Land Commission will “…develop the country’s most comprehensive database of public sector land and play a vital role in tackling London’s housing supply challenges… which will help London to develop the equivalent of 100 per cent of London’s brownfield land by 2025".". Ref HM Treasury Long term economic plan for London announced by Chancellor and Mayor of London.
In addition, the Chancellor confirmed that nine new housing zones would be established in Greenwich, Bexley, Barking and Dagenham, Wandsworth, Harrow, Hounslow, Lewisham, Ealing and Haringey. The creation of housing zones is intended to get new homes built more quickly by giving access to funding set aside for affordable housing. It is expected that this will accelerate the construction of up to 30,000 new homes, of which around a third will be affordable housing.
The Chancellor said: “This month London has surpassed the peak population reached over 70 years ago. For many years in between it declined in size as people left the city to look for better housing. It’s a reminder that there’s nothing inevitable about London growing – and that if we want to see the current growth continue, we have to solve London’s acute housing problem.”
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “We face massive demographic pressures in our city and it is absolutely vital that we build the high quality stock of housing we need to cope. We will not solve the problem without massively expanding the supply of housing and the plans confirmed today will help do that, which is fantastic for our city.”
The Commission met for the first time in July 2015, with attendance from Mayor of London Boris Johnson, planning minister Brandon Lewis and representatives from London boroughs, Transport for London, Network Rail and NHS England.
Savills have been tasked with compiling the preliminary register of brownfield public land by the end of 2015.
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