Tuesday 7 February 2017
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Government has missed crucial opportunity to tackle London's Housing Crisis say business leaders
Commenting on the publication of the Government White Paper on Housing, London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) said that failure to undertake a realistic review the capital's greenbelt will push back hopes of solving the chronic lack of affordable housing.
The shortage of affordable housing in London is one of the biggest issues for employers causing a difficulty in attracting and retaining the right talent.
Now LCCI has called for a review of the London greenbelt with potential brownfield sites identified.
Chief Executive Colin Stanbridge said:
"The government needs to be bold - not all land within the metropolitan green belt is pristine pasture. There are numerous brown spaces, be they gravel pits or disused industrial plots, that are lying idle due to being within the designated no development zone.
Ministers should look to audit the existing London greenbelt and map brown space that has the potential for high densification, high quality homes to rent. As the greenbelt straddles local government boundaries, Whitehall and City Hall should commission a Metropolitan green belt taskforce to examine this further.
The proposed fund to help small builders compete would be certainly welcome - the scale of the capital's housing problem is such that we need to see an army of builders small and large developing a patchwork of housing sites whether that is plots of 50 units or 500 each time.
NOTES TO EDITOR:
1. London Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI) is the capital's largest and most representative business organisation, with members ranging in size from multi-national companies to SMEs and sole traders.
2. Colin Stanbridge, chief executive is available for further comment and interview.
3. According to London businesses, the main barrier to building more housing in London is low availability of brownfield or surplus land (50%), followed by a cumbersome planning process (42%) and shortage of appropriate finance and funding (32%) (ComRes survey of 514 London businesses, September 2015).
4. Lack of housing that people can afford was ranked as the top issue that negatively impacts on London businesses (25%). 51% rank it among the top three. Concerns about the affordability of housing tend to be more prevalent among businesses located in Inner London. 30% of Inner London businesses ranked the level of affordable housing as having the biggest impact, compared to just 21% in Outer London (ComRes survey for LCCI of 503 businesses, February 2015).
5. For more information see LCCI's May 2014 report, Getting our House in order here