London’s Mayor, Sadiq Khan, has recently just set new planning rules aimed at increasing the city’s number of affordable developments, as response to the increase of the typical pricing of rent in London flat.
The set of rules, named the Supplementary Planning Guidance (SPG) is aimed at raising affordable housing numbers in the city by creating a ‘fast track’ shortcut for the planning process, which will only be available for private developers, if they meet a minimum percentage; 35%, of affordable housing projects without public funding.
The developers, via the shortcuts, would have their projects go underway within two years following the approval of planning being granted. Companies that weren’t accepted for the fast track will undergo time-consuming, detailed scrutiny, of their financial models for their plans.
Related to this, London City Hall also wrote to all of the councils in the city, telling them to utilize the mayor’s expert viability team if any developers decide to cheat, by reducing the volume of their affordable housing levels after receiving permission for planning.
The mayor actually no formal powers to intervene in cases made with the local council’s decision, but he is urging the councils to take greater action with regards to local planning decisions, in order to increase the affordable housing levels in the city.
According to the mayor himself, the current housing crisis in the city of London is one of the biggest challenges faced by London, with many people being priced out of the city, since they are unable to afford a home.
The Mayor said that he has already said to Londoners that this issue cannot be dealt with so easily, but that he and the city council is working on solving the problem, with a £1.7B investment aimed at creating more affordable homes for the city’s residents.
He says that with the average price of paying the rent in London flat rising, the investment and the SPG are part of the effort to create more affordable residences in the city, with the SPG aimed at speeding the planning process if they provide affordable housing.
According to Khan, the sector is reliant on a thriving London economy, and through these initiatives, the city are seeking to ensure that the city can provide affordable housing to cater for the city’s population.