Half of London businesses say it's time to look again at the Green Belt for housing

Mark Sands
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London mayor Sadiq Khan has focused his housing efforts on selling TfL land (Source: Getty)

Almost half of London's business leaders say the government must re-evaluate the use of Green Belt land for housing.

In a new survey commissioned by the London Chamber of Commerce and Industry, 47 per cent of the city's business decision makers said poor quality Green Belt land could be used to foster new development.

The Comres survey quizzed more than 500 London bosses throughout August.

Since his election, London mayor Sadiq Khan has focused on selling off TfL land for new homes, while housing minister Gavin Barwell has been at pains to suggest there are no “silver bullets” to drive construction.

However, the government has been coming under increasing pressure, with Institute of Economic Affairs head of public policy Ryan Bourne recently pushing Barwell to look at greater use of the Green Belt.

And previous LCCI research has suggested that London firms see land availability as the greatest barrier to house building.

LCCI chief executive Colin Stanbridge said: “The idea of a greenbelt being lush parkland is something of a misnomer. In fact land which is currently classified as in the Green Belt covers a wide range, from parks to derelict buildings on wasteland.

“We would urge consideration to be given to the wider strategic role of land within the Green Belt. LCCI has recommended that the Mayor of London review the status of poor quality Green Belt land, to assess its potential for housing

“Reviewing the status of poor quality greenbelt land will enable the new Mayor to identify opportunities for housing but at the same time protect London's valuable green spaces.“

Alongside a Green Belt review, LCCI is also demanding Khan works to increase numbers of homes near transport hubs to maximise use of existing infrastructure.

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