A report by Centre for London urges the new mayor to create partnerships with local authorities and developers which release the untapped potential of London’s large brownfield sites.
According to Going Large – Making the Most of London’s Big Sites, planning permission was in place for 100,000 homes on large sites across the capital in 2013. However, development of these important sites has been held back by commercial development models which are focused on short term and gradual delivery rather than long-term investment and delivery at scale.
The report argues for revitalised models of partnership and financing to translate long-term potential into the creation of successful new neighbourhoods, and to help local authorities share in the gains of their landholdings.
The report argues that Government should:
- Support local authorities in taking a longer-term approach to securing best value, allow borrowing against future tax revenues, and exempt local authorities’ purchase of land for development from stamp duty land tax.
The new mayor should:
- Intensify partnership working with local authorities and developers to bring forward London’s large sites, by supporting the establishment of joint ventures for priority sites and using the mayoral development corporation model to intervene where progress is stalled.
Local authorities and other public landowners should:
- Develop a clear vision for priority sites, while actively exploring joint-venture arrangements for developing underused land.
- Base planning on masterplans that set out the character and spatial structure of new places and how these will integrate into surrounding neighbourhoods.
- Take a long-term approach to achieving best value from the development of assets, retaining a stake in order to secure investment from and reduce risk for other partners.
Richard Brown, Research Director at Centre for London said:
“London was once a patchwork of derelict sites ripe for development. But the city is now feeling fuller, and sites that once seemed too expensive, too big and too constraint to build need to be looked at seriously.
“The new mayor has a crucial role to play in leading, enabling and enforcing the unlocking of London’s big sites.”
Stephen Howlett, Chief Executive of Peabody said:
“Unlocking London’s big sites will be a key challenge for the new Mayor. It will be essential to boosting the supply of new homes and ensuring the future success of our great city. Working with the Mayor, central government, local authorities and others, housing associations can help transform long term potential into actual delivery. Through partnerships and patient investment, we can meet the housing challenge together.”