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London mayor pushes for more affordable homes on public land

At least half of the new homes built on London public land will have to be affordable to benefit from faster planning permission, according to the capital’s mayor, Sadiq Khan.

Khan made the announcement yesterday in a new approach to property development.

The mayor’s new Supplementary Planning Guidance is designed to raise levels of affordable housing and speed up decisions in the planning system.

Currently just 13 per cent of new London homes are affordable.

The new approach will give developers of private land a fast-track route through the planning process to bypass costly and lengthy negotiations.

Private developers must have at least 35 per cent affordable housing to qualify, while those on public land must hit 50 per cent.

All developments should get underway within two years of planning permission being granted.

Earlier in the year Transport for London committed to delivering 50 per cent affordable housing across their development programme.

Khan says: “The housing crisis is the biggest challenge facing Londoners today with too many people – particularly the younger generation – being priced out of our city, unable to afford a home.

“I’m determined to ensure we don’t have a repeat of what happened at Battersea Power Station, with developers unacceptably reducing the number of affordable homes on site after planning permission was granted.

“That’s why I’ve written to all councils offering City Hall’s expertise in robustly scrutinising applications to ensure we see the new and genuinely affordable homes built that Londoners desperately need.”

British Property Federation director of policy (real estate) Ian Fletcher says: “We think the Mayor is right to seek to build as much affordable housing on public land as he can, to the extent that it is also delivering the infrastructure needed and communities that people want to live in.”

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