The Mayor of London has today reached a key target of 50,000 new homes for Londoners in his landmark Housing Zone scheme, with three further zones announced that will fast-track much needed development in the boroughs of Brent, Westminster and Sutton.
The achievement builds upon the Mayor’s efforts to free up land for new housing, including the creation of the London Land Commission to identify all public land in London and strengthen its redevelopment alongside new transport infrastructure, the release of 99 per cent of all land held in the Mayor’s own portfolio, and the establishment of the London Housing Bank to provide finance to accelerate the build-out of large sites.
Eighteen out of a promised 20 Housing Zones across London have now been announced, bringing the total number of homes to be built to 50,965 of which nearly one-third will be affordable to buy or rent. There will be two further zones confirmed by the late summer.
Housing Zones are a collaborative effort between the Greater London Authority, the government and local boroughs to streamline approval processes and speed up development in target areas where it has previously been held back, unlocking valuable brownfield land to meet London’s growing need for housing.
The Mayor will invest nearly £44 million in three new Housing Zones in vastly different areas of London which will together provide nearly 6,600 new homes as well as improved transport links, more than 13,000 construction jobs and new retail precincts, transforming these areas into new urban districts for generations of Londoners.
Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “We have worked very hard to reach our goal of 50,000 homes, and we’ve done it with two more Housing Zones to go. This scheme has proven extremely popular with boroughs, who have clearly been looking for just that extra bit of assistance in revving up their housebuilding to answer clear demand from Londoners. I could not be more pleased at the progress of this innovative scheme and the real outcomes it has delivered for our city.”
Deputy Mayor for Housing, Richard Blakeway, visited a development at Wembley Park on Wednesday which will deliver 1200 new homes in the shadow of the famous stadium, situated within the bounds of a second Housing Zone within Brent.
The Edgware Road Housing Zone in the borough of Westminster will provide 1113 new homes in the heart of London, adjacent to the major commercial centres of the West End and Paddington, of which 537 will be affordable. The borough will regenerate two existing estates with higher density housing, adding to the total number of affordable homes in the area. The highly sought-after area is already blessed with fantastic transport links to the tube and buses and is surrounded by employment opportunities for residents, not to mention some of the best cultural attractions that London has to offer. Once the Crossrail interchange is operational at Paddington Station from 2018, residents will also have access to this new transport link a mere 15 minutes away.
Westminster City Council’s Cabinet Member for Housing, Regeneration, Business and Economic Development, Councillor Daniel Astaire said "This is a great outcome for Westminster and the local community. The Futures Steering Group, comprised of residents and local businesses, has worked closely with the Council to help regenerate and improve this area for the benefit of local residents and businesses. This announcement will further add to the Council’s already ambitious Housing Renewal and Growth plans, providing much needed housing, employment and economic prosperity, and so contribute to the Council’s City for All vision.”
The Alperton Housing Zone in Brent, situated on the north side of the Grand Union canal, will see more than 3,213 homes built by 2025 thanks to a £17.9 million funding injection from the GLA. 880 affordable homes will be provided, with an estimated 6,426 construction jobs while the development is being built. The area is serviced by Alperton and Stonebridge Park Underground station, and walking links between the two stations and along the canalside will be improved as part of the development. The Housing Zone also borders the Old Oak and Park Royal site, which will be developed by the Mayor and is estimated to create around 24,000 jobs.
Councillor Margaret McLennan, Lead Member for Housing and Development at Brent Council said “This is fantastic news for Brent and our key growth areas of Alperton and Wembley. We all know that the demand for new homes outstrips the supply, so as a council we are doing everything we can to get more homes built in Brent and tackle the housing crisis. This funding will help us achieve this aim.”
Sutton Town Centre and Hackbridge Housing Zone is situated within a priority area designated by Sutton Council for housing growth in the coming years. It will bring forward a range of different housing, including town centre living for single people and couples, to family housing with a provision for all types of tenures. In addition a £3.5 million investment is proposed for a decentralised energy network in Hackbridge, which will be used to supply hot water and heating to homes in the area. The network has the potential to benefit up to 19,000 homes in the future.
Councillor Jayne McCoy, Chair of the Housing, Economy and Business Committee at Sutton Council said “This is great news for Sutton. The designation of the Sutton One Housing Zone will give a tremendous boost to housebuilding in the borough and is an exciting opportunity to build on the significant investment already attracted in recent years. "Sutton Council is committed to increasing housing growth in the borough. That’s why we are investing in new housing through our own housing development company."
The 50,000 new homes that will be built as a result of these new Zones will bring closer the Mayor’s London Plan target of building nearly half a million homes over the next ten years. Plans are being developed to expand the scheme beyond the current target of 20 zones in London.