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London’s future mayor faces housing crisis

Data published by Stirling Ackroyd shows that London planning departments have approved 32,910 new homes throughout 2015 – not enough to reach their annual goal of 42,000.

London’s future mayor faces housing crisis

In order to be able to reach that goal, there should have been 10,500 new home building approvals per quarter. That target was met only in the first quarter of 2015 (11,870 approvals) thus leaving London with a 22% housing deficit in 2016 – a serious challenge for the city’s new mayor to face.

Andrew Bridges, managing director of Stirling Ackroyd, said:

“Fresh candidates of all stripes should be willing to rise to the housing challenge, as well as supporting the easier issues that have progressed better for Boris.

“Politics and personalities aside, today’s housing deficit is deepening and the electoral clock is ticking. The mantra in 2016 should be planning, planning, planning.”

In order to be able to meet their annual target Greater London councils should have approved every single application in 2015 – a total of 42,910 potential new homes. However, only 77% of these were approved.

Out of all London boroughs, Greenwich has the lead with new housing approvals, accounting for 3,666 new homes finding their way through the planning system in 2015. Greenwich also boasts the highest number of approvals (818) for Q4 of the previous year.

Tower Hamlets comes in second place with a total of 3,628 applications approvals for 2015, of which 478 were granted in Q4.

Mr Bridges acknowledged that East London is a very appealing area for developers (great transport, excellent overall location). He also commented that the high approval rates in Greenwich and Hamlet Towers show that the council realizes the importance of providing new homes and keeping up with the city’s housing needs.

Furthermore, he emphasizes the importance that this enthusiasm is spread throughout Greater London, since East London couldn’t possibly handle the entirety of the housing demand in the city.

Kensington & Chelsea and Richmond upon Thames have had the lowest numbers of new homes given planning permission in 2015 with 193 and 140 approvals, respectively.

Meanwhile, the Westminster council has the lead on proportion of new homes allowed In Greater London by giving approval to 95% of homes mentioned in planning applications in 2015.

Greenwich, Camden and Southwark follow closely behind by allowing 94% of new homes applied for in 2015. Tower Hamlets comes in at third place with 92%.

On the other hand, Bromley and Hillington have had the lowest number of approvals for Greater London - a 30% and 36%, respectively.

Mr Bridges commented that London is missing a consistent plan to deal with its housing crisis and that whoever the future mayor is - they should be able to offer one.


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