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Increasing London’s affordable housing targets misses the point


It takes non-politicians to spell out the pragmatic reality that while government, in fact all of us, depend on housebuilders and residential developers to provide housing, there is no formal partnering between private industry and public need. Indeed, if housing really is infrastructure then all political persuasions have failed to grasp the opportunities but also the structural failings. Starting with the planning system which sees record underinvestment, undermanned departments, under-skilled officers, medieval timescales and fragmented guidance, how can we expect to push more planning consents into construction? Why in the last 20 years have we failed to place clear housing demands to private developers in return for clear public benefits? Why have we failed to clarify affordable housing in a county or borough wide policy rather than a site wide negotiation on viability? And why do we allow changing of agreed planning consents, the selling of consents with their added value and delayed implementation when we could have a contractual undertaking on the provision of homes in return for a permission – like a development license. And why, oh why, if there is a housing crisis is nobody panicking?

Posted date

20 November, 2017

Posted time

9:11 am