The Mayor of London has welcomed commitments made by the Government in today’s Budget that have the potential to spark the construction of tens of thousands of new homes, help regenerate some of the capital’s most deprived housing estates and deliver thousands of new jobs.
The Mayor has persistently lobbied the Government for funding and commitments to the construction of infrastructure that could be used to help regenerate large swathes of London, and meet the immense demand for new housing in the capital. He met the Chancellor on March 6 to finalise details and today, responding to business cases prepared by the Mayor’s team proposing an estate regeneration fund and the unlocking of the Barking Riverside site, the Chancellor confirmed hundreds of millions of pounds of new funding for London. In addition the Chancellor outlined support for regeneration in Brent Cross Cricklewood, pledged VAT relief for a Mayoral Development Corporation at Old Oak Common and announced business rate discounts for London’s Royal Docks enterprise zone.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London is the throbbing engine that powers the UK economy and the Government’s Budget recognises the arguments made doggedly to them by myself and my team, which are that with the capital’s population increasing at a simply staggering pace this engine requires more fuel. The commitments being made today will allow us to motor ahead with putting a platform in place that will allow us to deliver the new homes and jobs that are critical to the continued growth of this great world city.”
Wins for London in today’s budget included:
- Up to £150m of funding to help kickstart the regeneration of deprived housing estates. Today’s announcement follows detailed assessment by the Treasury of a City Hall business case for the scheme, which was proposed to the Chancellor by the Mayor’s team ahead of the last Autumn Statement. It recognises the vast development potential in existing housing estates and opportunities to improve the design and quality of those estates and their homes. Working with our partners in the Department for Communities and Local Government the Mayor is proposing that the Greater London Authority will administer the scheme in London, which the Mayor’s team see as the key to delivering 22,000 new homes, creating 43,000 new jobs and generating over £5bn of development value. As part of the process the Greater London Authority will encourage existing developers and other interested parties to apply for repayable loans that would see them work with local authorities and the Greater London Authority to transform key estates such as Aylesbury in Southwark, Blackwall Reach in Tower Hamlets and the Grahame Park Estate in Barnet
- A commitment that the Government will work in conjunction with the Mayor to extend the Gospel Oak to Barking Overground line to Barking Riverside. The new rail link will enable development of the largest single site in London for new housing, with the potential to accommodate a population the size of Windsor. The joint venture between the Greater London Authority and Bellway Homes will see 11,000 new homes, 6,000 jobs and 5 new schools built on a near 450 acre site. The scheme is part of City Hall’s wider work around house building where it has land interests. The Mayor has released land with a development value of £3.2bn since 2012.
- Support for the delivery of transport improvements and regeneration in the Brent Cross Cricklewood area that will contribute to the development of a new metropolitan town centre on a scale comparable with the Olympic Park. Working with the Treasury and the London Borough of Barnet, the GLA will bring forward plans for a tax incremental financing scheme based on business rate uplift that City Hall intend will help to fund a new Rail Station at Brent Cross on the Thameslink line. The Mayor’s 2020 vision identifies Brent Cross Cricklewood as one of the most exciting regeneration opportunities in the country with the potential to deliver between 7,500 and 10,000 new homes, up to 20,000 new jobs and around £4.5bn of economic investment in an area ripe for redevelopment.
- A pledge to provide Section 33 VAT status for the Mayoral Development Corporation planned in the Old Oak Common area. That commitment will aid ambitious plans to transform one of the most deprived parts of London into a thriving new district with up to 24,000 new homes and more than 55,000 jobs. The Mayoral Development Corporation will drive the comprehensive regeneration of a 195 acre semi-industrial site at Old Oak Common that could be worth up to £6.2 billion for the London economy, with the potential for Old Oak to supply up to 2.5 per cent of the Greater London housing requirement and almost 14 per cent of Greater London’s employment need up to 2031.
- The Chancellor also announced that business rates discounts and enhanced capital allowances will be extended in enterprise zones for another three years, meaning that London’s Royal Docks Enterprise Zone will have business rates discounts and the ECA extended to March 2020. This will benefit the two main developments coming forward on City Hall land, the ABP on Royal Albert Dock and the TSP on Silvertown Quay, who will complete the first phases of their development within this time period.