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Policy H1 Increasing housing supply


  1. Table 4.1 sets the ten-year targets for net housing completions which each local planning authority should plan for. Boroughs must include these targets in their Development Plan documents.
  2. To ensure that ten-year housing targets are achieved:
    1. boroughs should prepare delivery-focused Development Plans which:
      1. allocate an appropriate range and number of sites that are suitable for residential and mixed-use development and intensification
      2. encourage development on other appropriate windfall sites not identified in Development Plans through the Plan period, especially from the sources of supply listed in B2
      3. enable the delivery of housing capacity identified in Opportunity Areas, working closely with the GLA.
    2. boroughs should optimise the potential for housing delivery on all suitable and available brownfield sites through their Development Plans and planning decisions, especially the following sources of capacity:
      1. sites with existing or planned public transport access levels (PTALs) 3-6 or which are located within 800m of a Tube station, rail station or town centre boundary[35]
      2. mixed-use redevelopment of car parks and low-density retail parks
      3. housing intensification on other appropriate low-density sites in commercial, leisure and infrastructure uses
      4. the redevelopment of surplus utilities and public sector owned sites
      5. small housing sites (see Policy H2 Small sites)
      6. industrial sites that have been identified through the processes set out in Policy E4 Land for industry, logistics and services to support London’s economic function, Policy E5 Strategic Industrial Locations (SIL), Policy E6 Locally Significant Industrial Sites and Policy E7 Intensification, co-location and substitution of land for industry, logistics and services to support London’s economic function.
  3. Boroughs should proactively use brownfield registers and permission in principle to increase planning certainty for those wishing to build new homes.
  4. Boroughs should publish and annually update housing trajectories based on the targets in Table 4.1 which identify the sources of housing capacity (including windfall) expected to contribute towards achieving housing targets and should work with the Mayor to resolve any anticipated shortfalls.
  5. Where new sustainable transport infrastructure is planned, boroughs should re-evaluate the appropriateness of land use designations and the potential to accommodate higher-density residential and mixed-use development, taking into account future public transport capacity and connectivity levels.
  6. On sites that are allocated for residential and mixed-use development there is a general presumption against single use low-density retail and leisure parks. These developments should be designed to provide a mix of uses including housing on the same site in order to make the best use of land available for development.


[35] District, major, metropolitan and international town centres

Table 4.1 - 10 year targets for net housing completions (2019/20 -2028/29)

Planning AuthorityTen-year housing targetAnnualised average
Barking & Dagenham22,6402,264
City of London1,460146
Hammersmith & Fulham16,4801,648
Kensington & Chelsea4,880488
London Legacy Development Corporation 21,6102,161
Old Oak Park Royal Development Corporation 13,6701,367
Tower Hamlets35,1103,511
Waltham Forest17,9401,794

The Mayor has carried out a London-wide Strategic Housing Market Assessment (SHMA) and Strategic Housing Land Availability Assessment (SHLAA). The SHMA has identified need for 66,000 additional homes per year. The SHMA covers overall housing need as well as exploring specific requirements for purpose-built student accommodation and specialist older persons accommodation within the overall figure.

For the purposes of the Plan, London is considered as a single housing market area, with a series of complex and interlinked sub-markets. The advantage of strategic planning is that it allows London to focus development in the most sustainable locations, allowing all of London’s land use needs to be planned for with an understanding of how best to deliver them across the capital. Because of London’s ability to plan strategically, boroughs are not required to carry out their own housing needs assessment[36] but must plan for, and seek to deliver, the housing targets in this Plan. These have been informed by the SHLAA and the SHMA.

[36] Where boroughs wish to commission their own research on housing requirements to complement the London-wide SHMA, they are encouraged to do this on a sub-regional rather than single-borough basis.

To achieve these housing targets the overall average rate of housing delivery on both large and small sites will need to approximately double compared to current average completion rates. The Mayor recognises that development of this scale will require not just an increase in the number of homes approved but also a fundamental transformation in how new homes are delivered. The London Plan, London Housing Strategy and Mayor’s Transport Strategy together provide a framework to help achieve this ambition but achieving this step change in delivery will require increased levels of funding to support the delivery of housing and infrastructure, which is discussed in more detail in Chapter 11.

In particular, the London Housing Strategy sets out the Mayor’s proposals for working with boroughs and other partners to deliver the step change in housing supply required, through:

  • proactive intervention in London’s land market to unlock and accelerate housing delivery, including on public land and through compulsory purchase and other forms of land assembly
  • increased and better-targeted investment to de-risk development and maximise opportunities from new transport infrastructure
  • diversification of the housebuilding industry through increased Build to Rent development, more support for small and medium-sized builders, and more supply from councils and housing associations
  • tackling the construction skills gap and modernising construction methods.

The London Housing Strategy encourages boroughs to put in place clear plans to bring forward appropriate sites in their own ownership for housing delivery.  Boroughs should align these plans with their development plans in order to speed up housing delivery and ensure planning policy implications are fully considered.

Also set out in the London Housing Strategy, is the Mayor’s aim to ensure that Londoners have an opportunity to purchase new homes before they are marketed overseas – particularly those homes that ordinary Londoners are more likely to be able to afford. The Mayor is discussing with major homebuilders steps to make more new homes available to Londoners before anyone else. The Mayor would keep any such steps under review to ensure that they deliver his objectives. Their effectiveness will be monitored and the Mayor will consider other measures if necessary.

The ten-year housing targets in Table 4.1 are based on the 2017 London SHLAA. This includes an assessment of large housing sites (0.25 hectares and above) undertaken in partnership with boroughs, which provides the most comprehensive study available of the capital’s capacity for housing delivery based on a consistent pan-London methodology. In addition, the SHLAA includes an assessment of small site capacity using a combination of trend data for certain types of development and an estimate of potential for intensification in existing residential areas. The differences between borough housing targets are a reflection of the variations in the constraints and opportunities affecting development on large sites and the capacity for development on small sites[37]. This includes: transport connectivity; the availability of large brownfield sites; scope to accommodate higher residential densities around town centres and stations; planning designations for industrial land, Green Belt, Metropolitan Open Land and other protected open spaces; environmental constraints; heritage assets; and the need to accommodate other land uses.

[37] For a full discussion of the SHLAA methodology and findings see 2017 SHLAA report.

The SHLAA shows that there is capacity across London for approximately 40,000 new homes a year on large sites. Modelling in the SHLAA also shows that there is capacity for development on small sites for 24,500 new homes a year. The allowance for windfall sites (that are not specifically identified) is considered appropriate given the policy framework set out in the London Plan; the capital’s reliance on recycled brownfield sites in other active land uses; and the number of additional homes expected to be provided via increases in the density of existing homes through small housing developments. Boroughs are encouraged to identify as many sites, including small sites, as possible via their Development Plan documents and brownfield registers. However, because of the nature of some sites (as set out above), including the particular incremental characteristics of small sites, boroughs are supported in using windfall assumptions in their five-year housing trajectories based on the numbers set out below. This is because, in contrast with recent annual trends on small sites, the figures in Table 4.2 are considered to better reflect the step change that can be expected in housing delivery through the presumption in favour of small housing developments (Policy H2 Small sites) and the package of measures outlined in the London Housing Strategy.

Figure 4.2 - Public Transport Access Levels

Figure showing the projected PTALs across London in 2021. The best connected areas are in Central London, with other hot spots including Stratford, Croydon and Old Oak Common
London Plan Figure 4.2 Public Transport Accessibility Levels 2021