London News & Search
The first plot of land bought by City Hall under Sadiq Khan has been released for development with 100 per cent affordable housing, it was announced today.
The site – a former industrial estate in Waltham Forest – will provide 330 affordable homes for first-time buyers in the north London borough.
The deal comes ahead of the Mayor setting out plans next month for City Hall to take on a greater role intervening in land decisions across the capital.
It follows criticism of Mr Khan for failing to build any social housing in London in the past year despite promising to construct thousands of houses every year during his election campaign.
The Mayor has said plans, which include an ambition for all new developments to be 50 per cent affordable, are on track but that it will be a “marathon not a sprint”.
The Webbs Industrial Estate site, a former glass lampshade and bulb factory that stood derelict for seven years, was bought by City Hall last year for £12 million with the aim of finding a development partner.
Housing association Catalyst was selected as preferred bidder in a £17.6 million deal to provide the new homes, available as shared ownership, along with a creative hub, artists’ studios, small park and retail space. City Hall will reinvest its profit into more affordable homes.
Mr Khan is under pressure to show that house-building remains a priority after figures earlier this month revealed no construction began for homes at social rent levels in 2016/17 and none have been built since the beginning of the financial year for 2017/18.
The Mayor said London had inherited the legacy of Boris Johnson but his own £3.15 billion deal with the Government would mean more affordable homes would be available for Londoners in two years’ time.
He is expected to set out more detail on his plans to take a greater role intervening in land decisions in his London Housing Strategy next month.
Mr Khan said: “I’m doing all I can to help fix London’s housing crisis, but it will take time to turn things round.
“We’re already taking big steps forward… I’m working hard to identify more brownfield sites across London that we can use to build the thousands of genuinely affordable homes London so desperately needs.
“This site in Walthamstow shows the benefit of City Hall taking a greater role unlocking and bringing forward land for development – working closely with housing associations like Catalyst to deliver a scheme that is 100 per cent affordable for Londoners struggling to buy a home.”
London News & Search