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More powers for London needed in Housing and Planning Bill

The Housing and Planning Bill has passed its second reading in the House of Commons and will shortly begin its committee stage.

London First sent a briefing note to MPs to lay out the Bill’s impact on London and to highlight areas in the Bill where we think some change or clarification is required.

To keep pace with population growth, London needs 50,000 new homes a year; currently only half this number is being built. We therefore welcomed measures that will increase the supply of new homes; but believe that implementation of aspects of this Bill need to be tailored to work in London:

  • The Government should devolve the implementation of the starter homes initiative in London to the Mayor,
  • A high percentage of London councils’ housing stock is high value. If this value is to be released to fund the right to buy, the money raised in London should stay in London to help build the new homes that the city needs,
  • The Bill devolves more strategic planning powers to the Mayor, which we support as a useful package to get more homes built in London,
  • The Bill should introduce a new power to require all public agencies in London to proactively cooperate with the work of the London Land Commission to enable it to work more effectively and quickly to deliver more land for housing development.

The full briefing note can be found here.

Contact: Jonathan Seager, jseager@londonfirst.co.uk

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