4 February 2019
The Draft London Plan is currently under review - examining a range of issues which will ultimately impact on the lives of everyone with a connection to the capital. One of the key ones (as ever) is housing. The plan is showing increased housing numbers generally when compared to the adopted London Plan: an increase from 42,389 per annum to 64,935 - a 53.2% increase.
However, this only tells part of the story and masks the geographical variations within. There is a definite shift in focus from Inner London to Outer London (as defined by Map 2.2 of the adopted Plan). As adopted 52% of the overall target is allocated to the smaller and fewer boroughs in Inner London). This is proposed to drop to 38%, leaving the remaining 62% to the outer boroughs. This can be seen in the individual borough totals. Whereas targets are proposed to reduce for the likes of Hackney, Kensington and Chelsea and Islington, the opposite is true of others. At the top of the list is Merton where the increase is a massive 223%, with Bexley and Hillingdon in second and third place.
|TOP FIVE INCREASES||TOP FIVE DECREASES|
|Merton (223%)||Islington (- 39%)|
|Bexley (179%)||Kensington and Chelsea (- 33%)|
|Hillingdon (178%)||Hackney (- 17%)|
|Hounslow (165%)||Tower Hamlets (- 11%)|
|Sutton (159%)||Southwark (- 7%)|
Naturally, the relationship is not perfect and the percentages ignore some of the raw numbers: for example, Tower Hamlets would still have the second highest allocation of any borough and Merton would have the 27th highest. Therefore, it is a trend which is significant but in itself should not assume that Inner London has now done its part to meet housing targets. On a proportionate basis the average housing allocations per Inner and Outer London Borough in the adopted plan is 16,361 and 9,357 respectively. This is proposed to equalise to 18,484 and 18,450, but given the difference in areas between boroughs the Inner London boroughs are still expected to do proportionately more, by this measure anyway.
Overall, the message appears to be that Inner boroughs will still need to work hard, but the outskirts need to work much harder than they have previously. This represents a real challenge for individual boroughs and a real opportunity for developers to respond to the need for housing across the capital.
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