How local planning authorities are delivering policies for affordable housing

JRF have what looks to be some interesting research on delivering affordable homes.  They conclude:

S106 for affordable housing has proved to be robust in the face of continuing uncertainties. However, tensions are building up within the system regarding other planning obligations; the types of dwellings delivered; the use of grants; and the fact that many local authority plans are out-of-date. There are further tensions arising from uncertainties about broader policies, notably the impact of Government approaches to capturing planning gain, on what can be achieved in terms of affordable housing. Finally there are fundamental concerns about the realism of some LPA [Local Planning Authorities] housing policies as rising affordable housing targets increasingly lead to viability issues, an issue that is unlikely to be resolved by clearer government guidance.

I had an interesting chat about this sort of thing with the Deputy Mayor yesterday, but don’t know how much of it was on the record, so I won’t say anything more than things seem to be afoot.

About Andrew Brown

I live in Lewisham, South East London, and spent 9 years as a Labour councillor in the borough between 1997 and 2006.
This entry was posted in Civic Society, Lewisham and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

8 Responses to How local planning authorities are delivering policies for affordable housing

  1. rp says:

    Hi Andrew

    Always good to come back to your blog after a little while and see you’re putting up stories, or bits of them, and then not releasing any further information because of the priviledged position you like to hold. What on earth is the point of this? Oh I know something I learned from the very important deputy mayor of lewisham but can’t tell you!!

    for goodness sake . . .

  2. Andrew Brown says:

    And lovely to hear from you to Richard. But how come you’re not interested in the substance of the research…

  3. rp says:

    Hi Andrew, key phrase is of course: “rising affordable housing targets increasingly lead to viability issues” and I am interested in the substance of the research but I’m far more interested in something from ‘the horses mouth’.

    Of course, in relation to the Lewisham Gateway. Which of course, you remember, the target of 20% was reduced yet further to 15% (you know the official figures), all this ‘affordable housing’ is complete rubbish, like anything else in developer land, its all negotiable.

    I even noted that a candidate for the green mayor of London (I think, her name escapes me, indeed the post she’s aiming at escapes me as well) proudly boasted a 60% affordable housing target, so its fair game for political ambition, and ambition must be very high on the deputy mayors (of Lewishams) list, certainly higher than affordable housing!

    Incidentally, at the SPC meeting that decided the ‘outline’ fate for the Lewisham Gateway, I sat behind a row of ‘developer suits’, when the reduction in affordable housing was briefly discussed two of them turned to one another and smirked broadly.

  4. Lone Ranger says:

    This is on the record….

    “Planning chiefs at the Greater London Authority (GLA) have said in a letter Lewisham Council is not planning to build enough affordable housing.”

    In true panto style the Mayor of London says 50% of new homes should be affordable. , oh no it shouldn’t says the Mayor of Lewisham.

    Sir Steve said: “Whether the target is 50 per cent, 35 per cent or something else won’t make a difference to the thousands of families on Lewisham’s housing waiting list unless the supply of rented properties can be increased.”

    A spokesperson for the Mayor of London said: “An independent Examination in Public showed the 50 per cent target is achievable and vital if we are to meet the needs of Londoners.

    “It is up to each and every borough to play their part in meeting this target.”

    He added: “A 35 per cent affordable housing target would be a major area of concern.

    Since being elected in 2002 Lewisham’s Mayor has failed to obtain the 2 stars required to fund making Lewisham homes decent to live in, has overseen a rise in the housing waiting list from 15,000 to almost 18,000, doubled the number of families in temporary B&B accomodation and has reduced the council’s housing stock from 30,000 to 20,000.

  5. rp says:

    Its the ‘affordable housing’ gravy train, many politicians, councillors, present, past and prospective, are only too willing to grab the handrail in order to further their career(s).

    The question is, who do they cock their ears to?

    The GLA are quite happy to let the Gateway float past them (I’m tempting fate with ‘float) with a 15% allocation, why? because of the ‘regeneration’ benefits. I’m still waiting for someone to at least have a stab at showing what these benefits are, and prove it. What wretched people cling to the greasy pole.

    Wonder if Andrew will risk his prospects . . . ?

  6. Andrew Brown says:

    You know what Richard if you think that there are corrupt politicians you’d be better off taking what you know to the police or Standards Board rather than hanging around in the comment boxes of this blog.

    Otherwise let’s not have any of this “gravy train”, “greasy pole” insinuations.

    As for the Gateway didn’t you see John Millar’s interview on Brockley Central?

    John sets out what the council are trying to achieve quite clearly:

    “Lewisham Council wants to create a very high quality environment, reconnecting Lewisham Station with the community it serves by getting rid of the traffic system [the massive roundabout] that divides one of South East London’s most important interchanges from a high street that has suffered a relative decline over a long period.”

    “Specifically, this means that we want to create new facilities, including retail, cafes, restaurants, a cinema, new parkland, a square and better pedestrian routes. It will also include a dense residential development, which will bring new people and new life to the area, and help Lewisham meet the targets for new housing that it has been set.”

    You may not like those objectives but those are the ones that the elected representatives of our borough have charged officers to achieve.

  7. rp says:

    a: I didn’t mention corruption, but if you know better than me Andrew…

    b: “John Millar’s interview on Brockley Central?”, well, you could call it that I suppose

    Happy Xmas Andrew, all the best for the New Year etc etc


  8. Andrew Brown says:

    And to you too you as well Richard.

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