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London Forum Updates

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Assembly report on affordable housing delivery


Posted on: 23 June 2019 at 15:37:19
The Housing Committee of the London Assembly has published its latest analysis, here, of affordable housing starts and completions.
London needs 47% of all new homes to be low cost rent type, that means 31,000 London Affordable Rent or Social Rent homes each year. The Assembly found that only 1,051 were completed in 2018-19, although starts of that tenure are increasing.
Intermediate tenure homes that year were 49% of completions but the assessed need for such Shared Ownership and London Living Wage homes is only 18% of all new homes.
That would imply that homes people cannot really afford are the ones being delivered.
The map on the last page of the report shows which boroughs have delivered the most and the least social/Affordable Rent homes between 2016 and 2019. Completions in twelve boroughs of that type of home were below 5%, with five local authorities delivering none.
However, several boroughs have now commenced their own house building programme.
London Forum's members should check the achievement of their borough shown on that map and have discussions about it with their Councillors and officers. Any information that you can report here would be appreciated on problems that have prevented delivery of low cost homes and what the opportunities are locally in the future.


Steve Chambers article on TfL bus service cuts


Posted on: 22 June 2019 at 15:14:03
The recent cuts in bus services in London were covered by a news piece in citymetric/transport by Steve Chambers.


Response to Aviation Strategy 2050


Posted on: 22 June 2019 at 15:07:20
London Forum has responded critically to the Government's consultation on their Aviation Strategy to 2050


Delivery rates for low cost rent homes are too low


Posted on: 6 June 2019 at 14:22:24
London Forum has examined reports by the GLA on affordable housing delivery and found that the requirements for low cost rental homes in London are not being met. Also, there has been a slowing in the building of approved housing schemes and new applications have fallen in some areas.
A paper on the subject is here.
A section in the Mayor's Annual Monitoring Report for 2016-17 showed that the delivery of affordable homes in some boroughs had been low.
A report compiled by London Assembly Members showed that London homes delivered under Permitted Development Rights for converting offices are unaffordable.
London Forum's chairman, Peter Eversden, has presented these findings to the London Planning and Development Forum and discussed the lack of affordable homes with the Planning and Housing Minister, Kit Malthouse MP.
London Forum will continue to work with TCPA, RTPI, the London Tenants Federation, the Just Space Network, academics in London and National Amenity Societies to seek policies and actions to improve the delivery of homes of the type that are needed in the capital.
London Forum's member societies should seek action by their Council(s) to boost the delivery of low cost rent homes. In many boroughs there are plans for homebuilding by the local authority with partners and a report on their progress will be available later in June 2019.
This year's Examination in Public of the draft New London Plan opened with a statement by the GLA that "80% of the new homes delivered in London are affordable by only 8% of Londoners."


Update on planning policy changes by the Government


Posted on: 6 June 2019 at 14:00:26
There have been several planning changes introduced of which London Forum members should be aware in work with their local borough(s), as follows.
More MHCLG permitted development - May 2019
Ability to pool developer contributions confirmed
Use of LDOs to speed approval for modular homes
Councils should assess evidence of unimplemented earlier consents
Five key changes in new viability guidance
A paper has been issued by the Planning magazine on 'What we can expect from the 2019 planning Green Paper'


Greener City Fund Community Tree Planting Grants


Posted on: 30 April 2019 at 20:31:28
Applications are now open for the third round of the Mayor of London’s Community Tree Planting Grants, part of the Greener City Fund.
See details here for a grants guide, a project toolkit and an application form.
Grants of between £5,000 and £50,000 are available to boroughs, charities, community groups and schools to plant trees, and help make London greener. Applications can cover a range of projects including planting in parks and other green spaces, mass volunteer planting events, small woodland creation projects, planting in housing estates or community gardens, orchard creation and more. Please note that street tree planting projects are not eligible for these grants. 
The application deadline is 24 June 2019, for projects that will take place between September 2019 and March 2020.


Small publically-owned sites for local developers


Posted on: 16 April 2019 at 21:49:38
The GLA, including Transport for London, is making available small plots of land in public ownership for development by local builders and community builders.
The sites are expected to deliver at least 50% "affordable homes" but provision of the required percentage of low-cost rent type will be challenging as most of the sites are around a quarter of an acre.
Many of the sites offered have become greened and of biodiversity value and that should require boroughs to seek other green space to compensate for losses.
Details of the project can be seen here and there is a link to sign up for alerts about additional sites released.


Code of Construction Practice


Posted on: 2 April 2019 at 19:36:47
The Royal Borough of Kensington and Chelsea is the latest to have published a Code of Construction Practice which can be seen here.
Considerate construction and modular construction for new developments are the topics of a London Forum open event on 16th May 2019.


Report on Build-To-Rent in London with borough details


Posted on: 23 March 2019 at 11:00:56
A new report on build to rent has been published by London Councils, London First and Turley and can be seen here.
It has details of how the scheme operates and where there are such developments in London boroughs.


Minister issues statement on planning changes 13March19


Posted on: 14 March 2019 at 14:17:08
James Brokenshire has issued details of the Government's response to the Letwin review of slow build out rates of new developments.
There will be more emphasis on a greater mix of new housing types, size and tenures, as required by the National Policy Planning Framework. That could be useful in London where high numbers market and shared equity homes for sale are being provided and too few low cost rent and social housing homes.
The Minister's statement included details of new permitted development rights (PDR) for changes in high streets and more flexibility in use classes. London Forum has opposed PDR because it removes the ability of boroughs and communities to decide what will happen and where. The latest proposals could harm some high streets.
The Government intends to remove the PDR and associated advertising deemed consent for new telephone kiosks.
See the full announcement here.

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