Boris Johnson today set a target of building 42,000 new London homes per year, but critics say he’s leaving behind a vague aspiration which his successor will be left to deliver.
The target – an increase of 10,000 per year – is one of a number of changes contained in an updated version of the Mayor’s strategic planning framework, known as the London Plan.
Other changes include a target to build 3,900 specialist homes for older people each year until 2025, helping councils protect local pubs from development and increasing the number of Opportunity Areas – areas where regeneration efforts and investment are targeted – from 33 to 38 over the next 25 years.
City Hall has also announced that Mr Johnson will chair the Old Oak and Park Royal Development Corporation – a special purpose vehicle that will allow the Mayor to cut through planning red tape and direct regeneration efforts in the area.
Plans to establish the corporation were recently approved by the London Assembly.
Mr Johnson said: “The London Plan is quite literally the capital’s planning Bible – driving development and setting out exactly what is and is not acceptable as we work to build a cleaner, greener, safer city that abounds opportunity, talent and economic activity.
“As the capital continues to flourish over the next few years, we will need to create hundreds of thousands of new homes and jobs and the London Plan will be crucial in allowing us to sustain our position as the best big city in the world.”
Stephen Knight, Liberal Democrat London Assembly housing spokesperson, said the Mayor’s increased housing target was “just a small step in the right direction.”
With Mr Johnson set to leave office next year, Mr Knight said the new target “appears to be just an aspiration set by the Mayor for his successor to pick up.”
He added: “Most worryingly his new target doesn’t even seem to even include a specific target for affordable homes. The Mayor’s record since 2008 is presiding over a city where more apartments are built for investors than homes for Londoners.”