Boris Johnson called for less ‘drab and featureless’ housing blocks and slammed the London Plan’s affordable housing targets in his first policy speech as London mayoral candidate yesterday.
Speaking at the National House Building Council annual lunch, the Tory MP set out his housing agenda stating a need for design that would be ‘restored by future generations’.
‘We should be building wonderful new communities,’ he said.
‘Where are our ornate features that will one day be restored? The reign of Queen Victoria and the Georges are remembered for their streets and houses. Will people look back and say they knew how to build houses in the latter part of Elizabeth II’s reign?'
‘What the average Londoner wants is a house with a garden and a front door. But when I look at the 26 phallocratic towers that Ken wants to erect in the suburbs, I wonder if we have learned anything from the last 50 years.’
He also assured Londoners that ‘their gardens, their views, their neighbourhoods are not going to be dwarfed by high-rise blocks or engulfed in a sea of indentikit homes’.
Johnson also attacked Mayor Ken Livingstone’s current 50 per cent affordable homes target stating he would ‘make the quota more flexible, in order to encourage development’.
Johnson said: ‘The London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham was slammed by the mayor for not hitting his targets, even though they have built so many more houses they will break their affordable housing targets, even if the percentage is less than 50 per cent.’