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Tower Hamlets set second highest housebuilding target in mayor of London’s draft housing plan

PUBLISHED: 14:52 30 November 2017 | UPDATED: 14:52 30 November 2017

Sadiq Khan poses with a copy of his draft housing strategy. Picture: Jim Ranger

Sadiq Khan poses with a copy of his draft housing strategy. Picture: Jim Ranger

Jim Ranger

Tower Hamlets has been set the second highest housebuilding target of any London borough, with the mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s draft strategy calling for 35,110 new homes to be built by 2029.

The borough average is around 20,000 new homes, with Newham having the highest target of 38,500.

The borough’s population was already expected to grow by 100,000 in the next ten years due to large-scale riverside developments, much of which is centred on the Isle of Dogs.

The London-wide average is 20,000 new homes to be built every year, with 12,000 of these being “genuinely affordable.”

Mr Khan said: “With London’s population expected to increase by 70,000 every year, reaching 10.8 million in 2041, it is vital we properly plan for growth with new affordable homes in every area of the capital.”

Old rules capping the maximum number of homes that could be built on a new development have been thrown out and sites will now be considered on a case by case basis, opening the door to large scale developments.

Developments in established neighbourhoods will be prioritised in order to make better use of land in desirable areas and reduce the need for new transport infrastructure.

Mr Khan has also recommitted himself to protecting London’s greenbelt and will not relax planning laws on the city’s outskirts.

London’s population density is significantly lower than Paris’ and Berlin’s and Mr Khan argues affordable homes should be built within pre-existing communities.

However this is in contrast to Barking Riverside, the site Mr Khan chose for his launch, which is a bold re-imagining of an area that was previously largely uninhabited industrial area that necessitates an Overground extension.

The mayor of London does not have the powers to give large sums of money to councils for housebuilding programs and instead has to use the planning framework to encourage developers to take up projects and engineer outcomes such as affordability by placing restrictions on companies.

Jasmine Whitbread, chief executive of business group, London First, said: “By being smart about how and where we build, making better use of land and setting targets that councils can and must hit, the Mayor will help open a door for the countless people priced out of a place to call home.”

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