• New housing zones designated

Eleven new London districts have been designated Housing Zones, bringing the total across the capital to 31. The hope is that the new locations will help further boost housing supply.
The mayor’s office says it has invested £200 million to develop the extra zones, which are pencilled in to deliver 24,554 new homes. Sites have been prepared by local authorities, to remove planning restrictions and enable development with supporting infrastructure to take place quickly.
Southwark receives two designations, with Canada Water and Old Kent Road and Peckham sites expected to deliver 2,300 homes between them. Also in the south are zones in Bromley North, with 1,468 units, Catford Town Centre with 2,500 units and the Cambridge Estate regeneration in Kingston, which will deliver 1,699 homes. To the east there is Barking Riverside Gateways, with 1,902 homes, and Romford with 3,304 homes.
To the north, Haringey has offered up North Tottenham, where 2,000 homes will be added, and a site in Edmonton Heartlands will deliver 3,254 units. West of the capital are sites in Feltham, where 3,339 homes will be built, and Hayes Town Centre, adding 2,788 homes.
The developments are expected to deliver an average 34% of affordable housing, while also helping to deliver regeneration of existing town centres, and helping to fund train station upgrades and extensions.
“Meeting the unprecedented demand for housing after 30 years of historic failure to build new homes is a critical issue affecting the capital,” said Boris Johnson. “That is why I have led an enormous programme of regeneration with my 31 housing zones that will transform communities across London, creating nearly 80,000 new homes, plus new transport hubs and schools.”
He was speaking at the opening of a new development delivered by Dolphin Living and Barratt Homes in Westminster, which has reused a derelict former Metropolitan Police hostel site, Trenchard House. The GLA acquired the site, which had stood vacant for more than 12 years, and released it for a £54 million development creating 78 new homes, of which 65 are affordable.
“This fantastic new housing development in the heart of the West End is delivering a life line to hard working local people who were priced out of Soho and desperate to reside nearby their places of work. These apartments are just some of the 100,000 new affordable homes being delivered over my two mayoral terms. This site forms part of more than 400 hectares of developable land the GLA inherited and which I have now released every inch of, to ensure as many homes as possible are built throughout London.”
Dolphin chief executive Jon Gooding commented: “We all recognise that there is a growing disconnect between wages and market rent within Central London, and we at Dolphin think it is crucial that we continue to provide good quality rental accommodation for those workers who keep this city alive. It is for this reason that we’ve sought to ensure that we have new homes to rent at discounts of up to 75% of market rate, and ones that will be affordable for couples earning the new national living wage.”
“This scheme has been a fantastic opportunity for Dolphin Living to deliver genuinely affordable housing for working people, on a site formerly owned by the public sector, which had lain dormant for years, in one of London’s most high profile cultural and social quarters. It provides a rare, but a fantastic, opportunity for those working in and around this area of Soho to reside here as well.”

LPA Perspective: Further steps to release publicly owned plots of land, for real homes to be built on, are welcomed. So long as these projects get under way without further dallying, there will be a substantial dent made in the capital’s housing shortfall.

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