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London Plan alterations fall short of housing need

The draft Further Alterations to the London Plan (FALP), published earlier this month for consultation, raise London's housing targets but not by enough to meet latest estimates of housing need, a new assessment has shown 

As reported by Planning Resource, in the FALP, the capital’s 10 year housing target is increased, stating that London has capacity for at least 420,000 homes, up by 100,000 from the existing London Plan, or 42,000 a year over a 10 year period from 2015. However, a strategic housing market assessment (SHMA) carried out by the Greater London Authority shows that this figure does not go far enough to address London's housing need. The SHMA found that between 49,000 and 62,000 new homes would be required per year to clear the backlog of housing. This wide range of predicted numbers is designed to take account of population changes and the time taken to address the current backlog.

The FALP increases some London boroughs’ housing targets significantly, by between 70% and 83% in relation to Haringey, Sutton and Kingston.  Another addition in the FALP is that the boroughs would be under an obligation to explicitly identify their five year housing land supply, bringing this in line with the National Planning Policy Framework.

Head of planning at Savills, Roger Hepher, said the targets would be "very challenging, given that we haven't been able to meet the old targets". He said: "It isn't a satisfactory basis for strategic planning to deliberately undershoot against well-researched forecasts. It can only spell trouble ahead."

The FALP is open to public consultation until 10 April.

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