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Gove warns Mayor Khan that housebuilding plan is ‘letting down’ Londoners

  • 18/03/2024
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Gove warns Mayor Khan that housebuilding plan is ‘letting down’ Londoners
Housing secretary Michael Gove has warned the Mayor of London Sadiq Khan that his plan to deliver homes in the capital does not go far enough.

Gove wrote to Khan with concerns that the London Plan was restricting housebuilding and asked him to review the plan, which lays out how homes in the capital will be delivered. 

The housebuilding plan review is expected to focus on the use of industrial land in London and potential areas of opportunity. 

Gove said 736 hectares of land could be turned into housing developments in London, but were held up by planning that developers described as “too restrictive”. 

He also said there were 47 areas in London that could deliver at least 2,500 homes, 5,000 jobs, or a combination of both, but no progress had been made. 

Khan has been asked to make sure these areas are targeted and consider any policies that could be holding development back. The mayor has also been asked if it would be necessary to introduce a single planning framework to speed up the delivery of housing. 


‘Let down’ Londoners 

Gove said: “Londoners are being let down by the mayor’s chronic under-delivery 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.”

Greg Hands, minister for London, added: “It is unacceptable that Londoners don’t have access to the homes they need due to persistent under-delivery of homebuilding, 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 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.” 

The government has brought in a “super-squad” of planners to speed up planning decisions in London, and they will prioritise cases where developments have been held up in the planning system. 

They will focus on Newham and Greenwich first, with a fund of £500,000 to help with planning applications, which is set to unlock more than 7,000 homes. 

The government said the rate of the delivery of homes in London needed to rise from an average of 37,200 per year to 62,300 to meet the London Plan’s targets. 

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