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Build homes for emergency workers on green belt: LCCI

Up to 20,000 affordable homes should be built on the browner parts of London’s green belt and reserved for emergency workers, according to a new report from The London Chamber of Commerce and Industry.

This ‘brown for blue’ report urged the Mayor of London to utilise 800 acres of this ‘brownspace’ to alleviate housing problems in the capital.

It said housing was a particular issue from London’s front-line ‘blue light’ emergency services, with 54 per cent of these police, firefighters and paramedics now living outside the capital due to the high cost of housing.

LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge says: “It is a misconception that all green belt is lush parkland. Our research found 813  of hectares of brownspace which is poor quality or disused space.”

This brownspace included former quarries and landfill sites, scrap and car breakers’ yards, idle land, car parks and transport and storage areas.

This ‘brownspace’ makes up 1 per cent of the green belt within London, while 7 per cent of this protected space is covered by golf courses.

The LCCI said the report recommendations would not erode “the principle” of the green belt.

The report claimed 69 per cent of businesses in London would support this development.

At the end of November the London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, released the first stage of his ‘London Plan’ to build more homes in the capital.

This proposed building up to 650,000 new homes in the outer suburbs. It specifically ruled out green belt developments.

The Mayor said he wants to build higher density housing, more tower blocks and to enable building on smaller plots in order to deliver more affordable homes.

This would include building on plots adjacent to, or building on existing residential and commercial buildings.

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