SLP sets out its vision for more homes as part of polycentric growth

The South London Partnership (SLP) responded last week to the GLA’s London Housing Strategy.

It is clear across London and the south east of England that the demand for housing is not being met by current rates of delivery and we support the strategy’s recognition of this. We welcome the strategy’s commitment to ensuring that new homes are high quality, safe, support London’s shift to a low carbon future, and are built in partnership with Londoners themselves.

Housing growth must be linked to a vision of a polycentric London. As New London Architecture said in its recent report London’s Towns: Shaping the Polycentric City, “London’s towns are the essential fabric of its everyday life: the multitude of ‘stars’ in the capital’s ‘constellation’” To deliver the Mayor’s good growth so that it is socially, spatially and economically inclusive and brings out the best of existing places, housing growth must be linked to more job opportunities in our towns.

We note the confusion caused by the publication within a six week window of three documents with different methodologies and targets (DCLG’s ‘Planning for the Right Homes in the Right Places’, the London Housing Strategy and the publication of the new London Plan borough targets) and hope this will be clarified.

There are three key issues where we want to work with the Mayor’s agencies to provide the conditions necessary for a real improvement in the number of good homes being built in South London:

1)      Ensure there is sufficient infrastructure to create inclusive neighbourhoods

2)      Ensure that allocation of housing funding provides for homes in South London

3)      Ensure that the construction workforce is available to deliver the houses needed

We support many of the Mayor’s demands for more power from central government, in particular those calling for the removal of barriers to Local Authorities building more homes. We look forward to working with the Mayor and other boroughs in lobbying for these powers and ensuring that all parts of London government have the tools they need to deliver a polycentric city which provides more homes in sustainable communities.