Murray Smith, Managing Director of SiteSales Property Group, a leading residential property sales and development consultancy in London and the South East, comments on the London Housing Strategy announced by the Mayor of London yesterday:
“The Mayor’s plan to deliver land for housing is to be admired and the theory smacks of his and James Murray’s clear thinking – all too rare in housing policy these days. Highly suitable land sitting in the dusty cupboards of some government bodies must be freed up.
“The number of affordable homes needs to rise as increasing delivery costs have made viability assessments very easy to justify reduced affordable numbers. Also, as private developers simply don’t want it, the land ought to be directed mostly at those with a holistic view of tenure. However, the rhetoric around the policy seems to be silent in regard to the word ‘planning’.
“Oiling the wheels of the often calamitous planning processes, varying from borough to borough (heaven forbid if the site straddles two boroughs) must be a priority. The Mayor’s plan will provide ’the ingredients’ but the affordable housing cake will only be ready for teatime if the oven functions.”