Mayor updates guidelines on building quality homes for Londoners

04 June 2015

The Mayor of London has released updated planning guidance that aims to maximise the construction of quality homes for Londoners, a vital step in achieving the goal of building 49,000 houses a year in order to keep up with London’s booming population. Interested parties are being invited to comment on the new guidance, which includes detail on building specifically for long-term private rentals, the potential introduction of affordable housing targets in new areas, and more details on vacant building credits for developers. London’s Deputy Mayor for Planning, Sir Edward Lister, said: “The new Supplementary Planning Guidance will be vital in helping developers and boroughs understand how we wish to achieve the Mayor’s ambitious aims for housing in London. Delivering the homes that London needs requires us to work together, so I would encourage anyone with an interest to let us know what they think.” The latest revision of the Mayor’s Supplementary Planning Guidance for Housing is an important framework for new housing development in the capital. It builds on the Mayor’s Plan to provide extra detail where needed, and is open for consultation until August 7. It recognises that in the drive to increase housing capacity in London, quality is just as important as quantity. Also included in the latest revision is: · Guidance on the Mayor’s approach to the new national technical housing standards released by the Department for Communities and Local Government in March this year, to ensure occupants of new housing have decent homes and enough space to live. The standards themselves are also subject to consultation through a Minor Alteration to the Plan. · Detail on the Mayor’s policy to encourage an increase in developments designed specifically for long-term private rentals, so-called “build-to-rent”. Done correctly, this could help meet specific population needs in certain urban centres. · Detail on the concept of applying fixed affordable housing targets in Housing Zones and Opportunity Areas, which will be the source of significant growth in housing supply in coming years. · Advice for local boroughs on how to incorporate the Vacant Building Credit into their local planning policy to ensure the credit delivers the aim of the Government policy, which is to bring forward brownfield sites that otherwise wouldn’t come forward for development. The credit allows the existing gross floor space to be credited towards affordable housing contributions.