Tower Bridge seen from River

London Forum Updates

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Shared ownership homes may become unaffordable

Posted on: 5 July 2015 at 19:00:08
The Assembly has publish a report indicating that the continuing rise in house prices could jeopardise the long-term affordability of the shared ownership model.  Half of households that purchased shared ownership homes in 2013-14 needed a household income of £39,200 or more.

London: the city that ate itself - Rowan Moore 28June15

Posted on: 4 July 2015 at 17:03:55
In this article in the Guardian, Rowan Moore writes that London is a city ruled by money. The things that make it special – the markets, pubs, high streets and communities – are becoming unrecognisable. The city is suffering a form of entropy whereby anything distinctive is converted into property value. Can the capital save itself?
He compliments what Ted Hollamby achieved for social housing in Lambeth but points out that most of it is under threat. Of "estate renewal" he writes "At worst, it sees the demolition of thousands of homes, the eviction of people who, in some cases, might have been there for decades and the building of new homes mostly for sale at market rates, with a much smaller number at rents that the former residents could afford. According to the website mappinglondonshousingstruggles, at least 70 estates are being made over in this way, affecting 160,000 people."
Rowan points out the harm caused by Government changes to planning such as the permitted development of offices.
His article resulted in a comment in the Guardian web site about the way landlords have financial advantages.

IPPR and Shelter on building more homes

Posted on: 3 July 2015 at 22:44:26
The Growing Cities report by the IPPR think-tank and housing charity Shelter says that drastic action is needed to tackle the urban housing crisis. Among its recommendations, the report says that councils within city-regions "should be strongly incentivised to work closely together to co-ordinate building more homes". It says that strategic planning powers and budgets should be devolved to cities and resources such as public land should be pooled and coordinated across boundaries, but councils "which block growth or refuse to co-operate should face financial penalties. If all other options are exhausted, there should be the ultimate backstop of a boundary review to incentivise working together effectively". It states that Green Belt land will have to be used for homes and has proposals for unlocking 'stalled sites'.

Davies Commission recommends third runway at Heathrow

Posted on: 1 July 2015 at 13:47:21
Howard Davies has published the Airports Commission report as here.
The recommendation for a third runway at Heathrow will alarm many people, schools and businesses which would be under the extra flight paths it will cause, if built.  The picture of it in the BBC report makes it look like an additional airport, eliminating villages and very many homes.
The reasons will need to be considered further for the Commission rejecting the Heathrow Hub proposal to extend the existing Northern runway at lower cost of a third runway and with less impact on homes.
Clean-Air-in-London has explained here how airport expansion at Heathrow would breach air pollution laws. They have said the Airports Commission misunderstands those laws. Limit values apply beside Heathrow and zone compliance is separate. See 

LB Hackney acts to protect town centres offices & shops

Posted on: 26 June 2015 at 21:53:01
London Borough of Hackney is to adopt an Article 4 Direction (A4D), across the borough’s key town and shopping centres.
The measure means that for offices and shops in areas such as Dalston, Hackney Central, Stoke Newington and Hoxton, a developer would need to submit a full planning application for a change of use.
Guy Nicholson, cabinet member for regeneration, said: "The government’s proposals make it easier for developers to change the use of buildings on our high streets without seeking planning permission.
"Converting a high street building from high street uses to unaffordable housing will lead to the decline of our high streets. It is for this reason the council is implementing the Article 4 Directions to ensure that our town centres continue to thrive and prosper into the future as places where we can meet people and do business".

New population figures - Office of National Statistics

Posted on: 26 June 2015 at 13:54:23
ONS has provided links to figures of Mid-Year Estimates for population growth.
The figures shown that 64,596,800 people lived in the UK in mid-2014, up 0.8 per cent from a year earlier. Just over half the increase was due to more people entering than leaving the country; and just under half accounted for by a greater number of births than deaths.
Consultancy Bilfinger GVA said that the the 2012 National Population Projection projected that the UK population would grow by 350,000 persons in 2012/13 and 384,000 persons in 2013/14 but the figures were, respectively, 372,000 and 451,000. So, national population growth has been around 12 per cent higher than previously projected.

Comments on Devolution Bill

Posted on: 26 June 2015 at 13:42:46
Will the Mayor of London get the powers and devolution recommended by the Finance Commission led by Professor Tony Travers?
Comments on the Devolution Bill before Parliament are here and here.

Report recommends locally-led housing delivery model

Posted on: 20 June 2015 at 21:33:43
A series of local bodies led by councils should be set up to provide support to overcome barriers faced in the delivery, funding and planning of new homes and infrastructure, think-tank ResPublica has recommended in a report.

New London Housing Commission formed

Posted on: 20 June 2015 at 21:14:33
The former head of the civil service Lord Kerslake is to lead a panel of experts in drawing up a blueprint for building more homes in the capital.
The aim of the London Housing Commission is to decipher evidence and produce a clear programme of action for London’s housing market.

Kerslake calls for review of extending Right to Buy

Posted on: 20 June 2015 at 15:06:20
A 'radical review' is needed of government plans to extend the Right to Buy policy to housing association tenants, former civil service chief Lord Kerslake urged at the inaugural Placemaking Summit.
A summary is here.

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