Sadiq Khan: The new Mayor of London
Sadiq Khan has won the London Mayoral Election 2016. His key planning and development related manifesto pledges are summarised below:
Homes for Londoners
Khan’s stated single biggest priority is to build thousands more homes every year with a target of half of all new homes that are built across London being genuinely affordable to rent or buy. Khan has proposed a series of policy initiatives to achieve this goal including support for Councils and housing associations to build for social rent, and a new ‘Homes for Living Rent’ housing type based on one third of average local wages.
Khan has also proposed measures to ensure that development on public land is targeted for Londoners and for long term renters buying homes for the first time.
Stronger Control to Maximise Affordability and Delivery
Khan has pledged to set clear guidelines for the ‘Call In’ of developments by the Greater London Authority where planning has stalled and where opportunities to deliver new or affordable homes are being missed. He has also proposed that Councils enforce new rules to maximise the affordable housing in new developments, with greater transparency around viability assessments. A new ‘use it or lose it’ power to prevent land banking is also proposed.
Khan has indicated that he will protect the green belt, green spaces and play spaces and prioritise development on brownfield sites. He has also proposed new design principles to build up areas around town centres across London.
Khan has indicated strong support for major transport infrastructure projects including Crossrail 2, Crossrail 3, new orbital links for outer London, DLR and tram extensions, new river crossings for East London, the proposed Bakerloo Line Extension to Lewisham and beyond, upgrading of the West Anglian Rail Line, the Cycle Superhighway Programme, and the Rotherhithe-Canary Wharf cycle and pedestrian bridge.
Khan opposes a third runway at Heathrow Airport and has pledged to make the case for a second runway at Gatwick Airport.
The new Mayor ushers in a reinvigorated planning policy approach to delivering affordable housing in London. However, this could conflict with the Government’s commitment to deliver 200,000 starter homes for sale and not rent.
In the immediate future major residential developments in London could face increased risk of “Call In” by the Mayor or the Secretary of State over failure to deliver London’s affordable housing and/or starter home requirements.
On a positive note, the new Mayor is promoting increased densities of development around town centres, and strong support for major transport infrastructure investment.
The Mayor has prioritised development on brownfield sites, but there is significant debate over whether this can deliver all of London’s housing need.
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