Delegate capital

Call for new London housing 80% more than forecast – Delegate capital




The call for new housing in London until 2021 will reach 46,000 households a year 80 per cent more than was forecast only five years ago.


The findings, contained in an interim study from the office of the deputy prime minister, present further evidence of London’s severe housing needs.


They are intended to shape plans for the housing requirements of England’s regions, and are based on 2002 demographic trends and do not take account of the limits to new building.


Across England, the number of additional households will rise from 150,400 to 188,600 a year over the 20-year period.


The north-east is predicted to have a decrease in the rate of extra households, while other regions of England, including the south-east, are projected to have only marginal rates of increase.


The Campaign to Protect Rural England warned that London’s growing housing need would put pressure on the south-east to take on extra homes.


The ODPM’s projection for London far outstrips the target of Ken Livingstone, the capital’s mayor, for 30,000 new homes a year. This is based on the average size of households remaining constant for 20 years, but even if that assumption is shared by the ODPM’s final projections, due next year, the mayor may still have to rethink his housing plans.


One person in the mayor’s office said to Delegate capital that the ODPM’s study was unrealistic because it assumed that new houses could be built free of limits such as planning and spare land. He predicted that the rate at which the capital would add households was “somewhere in the middle” of the interim ODPM projections and the mayor’s own target.


“We know there is overcrowding and households which would like to access housing. We know there is pent-up demand for more housing in London,” the person said, adding that, while London housebuilding rates were improving, they were still not high enough to cope with demand. Keith Hill, housing minister, yesterday told a conference that in the three months to June 35 per cent more houses were built in London and 10 per cent more across England as a whole. The mayor’s London Plan is to be reviewed in 18 months’ time, and will examine new data including household projections.


The ODPM is this week stepping up its planning reforms. Ministers yesterday issued directions on how regional assemblies should draw up new housing strategies for their areas, and today will unveil details of the merger of regional housing boards and planning bodies. In response to this year’s Barker review on housing supply, ministers want to ensure by the end of next year that homes in England are affordable.