London’s business leaders have urged Mayor Sadiq Khan to build thousands of new affordable homes for the capital’s emergency workers on “disused” parts of the Green belt.
In its response to the Mayor’s draft planning guidance, the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry say’s it’s time to recognise that some of the Green belt is “derelict and underdeveloped land” which could be put to better use.
With more than half of London’s police, fire & paramedic staff now living outside the capital, the LCCI says it’s essential City Hall addresses the lack of housing which is affordable to public workers.
The organisation says its own mapping of ‘brownspace’ throughout the Green belt has identified derelict land equivalent to 500 football pitches with the potential to provide around 20,000 homes for 999 workers.
It’s also called on the London Assembly to investigate the risks posed to London’s resilience by having so many key staff living outside its borders.
Chief Executive, Colin Stanbridge said: “It is a misconception that all Green Belt is lush parkland.
“Our research found hundreds of hectares of brownspace which is poor quality or disused space – and makes-up just one percent of the Green Belt.
“At the same time the majority of our emergency service workers, who are essential to the capital’s functioning, are living outside London.
“We are concerned this could impact London’s resilience in the event of an incident of prolonged duration.
“The Mayor has an opportunity in the draft new London Plan review to make a limited intervention, with suitable safeguards, to underpin resilience by homes for frontline police, fire and paramedic staff”.