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London Forum Updates

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Report on delivery of approved schemes


Posted on: 6 June 2021 at 15:11:32
Lichfields was commissioned by the Land Promoters & Developers Federation (“LPDF”) and Home Builders Federation (“HBF”) to undertake research into how the pipeline of sites for housing development compares with what might be needed to meet the Government’s ambitions for 300,000 net additional homes per year across England. Their report is here.


Government forces 'First Homes' delivery


Posted on: 6 June 2021 at 12:41:05
At least 25% of a developer’s requirement to build at least 10% affordable housing will need to be First Homes from 28th June 2021, so at least 2.5% of all homes built in a scheme would need to be First Homes.
First homes will be sold at a discount, available only for first-time buyers, of 30% at a minimum. There is a price cap, after the discount has been applied, of £250,000 or £420,000 in London.
In the consultation on MHCLG proposals for First Homes, the GLA responded that such homes would be unaffordable to most Londoners and the discount is likely to have a negative impact on developers' contribution to desperately needed low cost rent homes.
Planning magazine had an article on 'First Homes' and Property Week published comments on the perpertual discount trap that would apply.


Interview with the Rt Hon Robert Jenrick


Posted on: 7 May 2021 at 17:04:50
In a recent interview, Robert Jenrick spoke about how communities could work with their Council to devise design codes in Local Plans to influence "beautiful" development and "gentle densification". On tall buildings, he urged local Councils to decide where they should be located.


Sadiq Khan's pledges from May 2021


Posted on: 6 May 2021 at 20:51:48
Sadiq Khan's commitments were published here.


Join London Forum to support us


Posted on: 25 April 2021 at 10:34:27
If you are reading this page from a URL in Twitter or LinkedIn, please consider joining London Forum to support us in our work. We have memberships for individuals, companies, civic societies and resident associations - see 'Join Us' above.


New flight paths to be introduced


Posted on: 22 April 2021 at 21:25:19
John Stewart reports on Performance Based Navigation (PBN) for future flights paths being planned by 'Our Future Skies'. PBN is well-suited to provide noise respite. Curved and high level airport approaches could be implemented to reduce flights over any one community.


Delivery contracts to boost housebuilding


Posted on: 20 April 2021 at 18:56:15
Planning permissions should include a legally-binding "delivery contract" setting out "an agreed contractual trajectory of housing delivery" with penalties for developers and councils that breach them, according to a think tank report by the Centre for Policy Studies, welcomed by the housing minister, Christopher Pincher.


Convert private rented homes to social housing?


Posted on: 16 April 2021 at 19:04:35
"The private rented sector is unwilling and unable to house those in greatest need. As landlords seek to exit that sector, the government should purchase their properties for social rented housing", writes Lord Richard Best, chair of the Affordable Housing Commission (AHC) which recommended a £1.3bn National Housing Conversion Fund.


Status of Local Plans in London


Posted on: 15 April 2021 at 15:03:54
Commercial estate agents Bidwells has published a Spring 2021 update on Local Plans in boroughs. It is clear that several Councils have out of date policies and are locked into the process of preparation, consultation, examination and adoption of changes which will make it difficult for them to modify plans in the near future for design codes and for whatever is the outcome of the Planning White Paper. In March 2020, the Government set a clear deadline of December 2023 for all authorities to have up-to-date Local Plans in place.
Civic and community groups should work with their local authority to help devise new local policies to plan development and control its type and location. In some cases, supplementary planning documents may be a way to achieve that in the short term.


PDR - town centre uses to housing


Posted on: 8 April 2021 at 17:30:14
The Government proposed in December 2020 new permitted development rights to allow buildings included in its newly-created Class E in town centres, such as shops, offices, banks, other financial institutions, lawyers, architects, accountants, Post Offices, creches, day centres and indoor sports facilities and gyms, to convert to housing without needing planning permission.
On 31st March 2021 the Government issued a press statement announcing new planning laws which introduce most of the proposed changes but with more limits and conditions for prior approval. Those were in a report on the responses it had received, its comments on them and the new rules.
They include a Class MA in the General Permitted Development Order, granting deemed planning permission for change of use from commercial and business use (Class E) to residential (Class C3) from 1st August 2021.
The Housing, Communities and Local Government Select Committee has commenced an inquiry into the impact and affects of permitted development and seeks responses to its questions by Friday 30th April 2021. Civic and community societies should respond.
London Forum's critical response to the original consultation was submitted as here and a letter was sent to the Secretary of State about the proposals. There is a blog by Jennie Baker for Lichfields which gives comprehensive details about the new Use Class MA and another by Martin Goodall here. Comments by Zack Simons and Joey Gardiner are here. 
These proposals, as with existing permitted development, take away the full ability of Councils and their communities to control what happens and where. It could result in serious harm to district and town centres.

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