Sadiq Khan ditches planning rules to allow for more high-density housing

Helen Cahill
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Labour Mayoral Hopeful Reveals His Vision For London
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Sadiq Khan has today outlined a plan to ditch planning rules to allow for higher-density housebuilding in the capital.

In his draft London Plan, Khan has also outlined new targets to ensure developers build on small sites. The plan says that planning applications should be refused if they do not maximise housing density.

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The London mayor has estimated there is capacity for 24,500 homes a year on small sites and he wants boroughs to approve applications for small developments, unless developers hand in applications which do not meet the mayor's design standards.

To safeguard land for businesses, the mayor also plans to bring forward protections for industrial land.

"The London Plan’s moves to favour appropriate residential development on small sites is therefore a welcome initiative. It will also boost and strengthen the capacity of small and medium-sized house builders to build more new homes," said Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders.

Sara Parkinson, planning policy director at London First, said Khan's support for higher density housing was a "big win".

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"Sites close to new transport links like the Bakerloo line extension, the Elizabeth Line and Crossrail 2 will help unlock London's development challenges but there will be tough choices ahead if we are ever to hit the ambitious target of 66,000 homes a year," Parkinson said.

However, City Hall Conservatives said the plan amounted to a "downgrading in the quality of the capital’s housing".

Andrew Boff, housing spokesman for the Conservatives in the Greater London Authority, said: "The abandonment of sensible unit restrictions will see families crammed into rabbit hutch developments with no provision for parking if they live anywhere near a train station.

"The mayor's approach signals a downgrading in the quality of the capital's housing and will leave outer London browner, overcrowded and harder to get around."

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