The Green Belt: A Place for Londoners?February 27, 2015
London First is campaigning for a step change in house building in the capital, with the aim of doubling supply to 50,000 new homes a year. We see this as critical to London’s future competitiveness.
Last year, we published ‘Home Truths: 12 steps to solving London’s Housing Crisis’, which called for a bold approach to increase house building in London. The clear message from Home Truths was that there is no silver bullet to London’s lack of house building; the only way to increase supply is to take action on multiple fronts.
London First has launched a report focusing on one of these 12 steps: the role of the Green Belt.
‘The Green Belt: a Place for Londoners?’, produced in conjunction with SERC at the London School of Economics and Quod planning consultancy, calls on local authorities to begin a re-evaluation of their Green Belt land, to help solve the capital’s housing crisis. It finds that, while a policy of building new homes on ‘brownfield land first’ should be sustained, it is unrealistic to assume that brownfield sites will provide sufficient land to meet London’s housing need.
It concludes that a re-evaluation of Green Belt land should sit alongside other measures, such as building at greater density, making better use of surplus public land, and enhancing the Mayor’s planning powers to get more houses built.
The report suggests the starting point for any Green Belt review in London should be to only consider areas that:
- are close to existing or future transport nodes
- are of poor environmental or civic value
- could better serve London’s needs by supporting sustainable, high-quality, well-designed residential development that incorporates truly accessible green space
LISTEN IN: Speeches from the event
- London First Head of Housing Policy, Jonathan Seager, co-author of ‘The Green Belt – A Place For Londoners?’, explains the reasoning behind the new London First / Serc / Quod report
- Professor Paul Cheshire of the London School of Economics – and co-author of ‘The Green Belt – A Place For Londoners?’ – challenges misconceptions about the Green Belt at the report’s launch
- Barney Stringer, director of Quod planning consultancy, explains his new analysis, which reveals just what kind of land the Green Belt is made up of.