City Hall produces first register of public land in London
The first ever comprehensive register of public land in London, revealing 40,000 sites across the capital including the capacity to deliver a minimum of 130,000 homes, has been published by the London Land Commission.
The Commission, chaired by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson and Housing and Planning Minister Brandon Lewis, appointed Savills in July last year to compile the preliminary stages of a so-called ‘Domesday Book’ of all brownfield land owned by public bodies in London.
The register is now available in the form of an interactive map on City Hall’s website, detailing the locations of land owned by the Mayor of London, Government departments, London boroughs, Transport for London and the NHS. There are sites across every London borough, ranging from tiny parcels of land capable of building a small number of homes to larger sites, which could accommodate hundreds of new homes for Londoners. City Hall has already identified there could be a minimum of 130,000 homes built for Londoners on public sites potentially surplus, a volume of homes which will continue to grow. The register also includes details of the existing use of each site, including whether they are office, residential, transport or industrial.
It is the first time such a wide-ranging set of data has been compiled for the capital and will now be analysed by City Hall to further unlock and accelerate the release of surplus land for much-needed housing.
The Commission is working with the land owners on the register to determine availability and to encourage the marketing of public land to obtain the best possible housing development for Londoners, rather than selling with no obligations. It will also identify areas to group together potential plots of surplus land to yield a more significant number of homes and to create better regeneration sites across London.
It builds upon work already started by the Mayor in disposing of his own land holdings for development. He has completed a manifesto pledge in releasing all developable land in his ownership and City Hall will look at opportunities to purchase land and regenerate further sites across the capital.
The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson MP, said: “There is an urgent need in London for more homes for our ever growing population and for far too long, land owned by public bodies has lain dormant or sold off with no benefit to the capital. That simply must not be allowed to happen and we must build on the work done at City Hall in releasing land for development.
“The Commission will be absolutely vital in co-ordinating all public bodies to ensure we squeeze every drop of developable land possible to build the homes we need for hard-working Londoners.”
Housing Minister Brandon Lewis said: “We’ve got the capital building again with 158,000 new homes delivered since the end of 2009. This register will allow us go even further, providing a valuable tool for developers to get on and build the homes hard-working Londoners want and need.”
Mayor Sir Steve Bullock, London Councils’ Executive member for housing, said: “Publishing the register, which London boroughs have contributed towards, is a good starting point that will allow public sector organisations in the capital to take a more strategic approach to the use of their land, especially where adjacent sites are owned by different public landowners.
“Working together and using land more creatively is vital in order to help tackle the housing crisis and deliver an increase in affordable homes for Londoners.”
The register has also been praised by developers in London who have already begun using it and found it a useful tool to identify the scale of public land available and to plan ahead in order to maximise its use for housing.
John Stewart, Director of Economic Affairs at the House Builders Federation, said: “There is an acute need for much higher levels of home building in London, and this can only be addressed if sufficient land is made available for development. The public land register is a valuable first step and will be welcomed by house builders in London. The next step must be to translate these sites into real-life development opportunities which will boost housing supply in the capital, providing huge social and economic benefits to Londoners.”
The London Land Commission Register can be found here: https://maps.london.gov.uk/webmaps/LLC/
Notes to editors
Chaired by the Mayor and the Housing Minister, the Commission is led by the Greater London Authority. Meetings are held quarterly and attendees include NHS England, the Department of Health, Network Rail, the Department of Communities and Local Government, Transport for London, Network Rail and London Councils. The Greater London Authority will utilise the new powers given to it in the Infrastructure Act 2015 to spearhead the Commission’s efforts. The Commission has been awarded £1million in initial funding by government.
In compiling the land register, public bodies were asked to provide data on all their landholdings, including surplus assets. The compiled list totals 40,000 records of a mixture of sites in public ownership with a range of uses, including education, health and housing.
The Mayor has released all of his developable land, which is:
- 414 hectares of land
- 50,000 new homes to house 125,000 Londoners
- 7 million sq mtrs of new workspace to create 60,000 new jobs
- 14 schools for 9,000 students
- 100,000 construction jobs
- 11 new green parks covering 44 hectares