A new report commissioned by City Hall has called for the Mayor and local councils to be given greater powers to ensure land is used to build new homes, including more scope to compulsorily purchase land where developments are at risk of delay.
The report also calls for a new planning designation termed ‘Land Assembly Zone’ which would simplify the process of bringing together separately owned parcels of land to form a single developable site.
Mayor Sadiq Khan said: “This report shows how giving City Hall powers to bring land forward and ultimately buy it if necessary, as is common in other parts of the world, would help us build more homes, more quickly.
“It also shows how practical steps to curb speculation – where owners and developers trade land and see its value go up and up – could help us build more social rented and other genuinely affordable homes.
“I am using all the resources I have to their fullest extent to get more homes built in London, and will implement the recommendations of the report as far as my current powers and resources allow.
“But we need greater devolution of powers and investment from the Government to help us truly shift the gear and make a step change in the number of homes we are building.”
Report author Dr Nicholas Falk said: “London needs to match its competitors, using powers that have been lost.
“Our team used the combined experience on land assembly of lawyers Dentons and surveyors Gerald Eve, together with case studies that I have provided to show how to make a difference.
“The report goes beyond a review of powers to providing practical examples of how a better model can work.”