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DRAFT LONDON PLAN - BUSINESS CHALLENGES MAYOR TO TURN STRATEGY INTO DELIVERY

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Anticipating the draft London Plan, to be published by the mayor tomorrow, Judith Salomon, director of property and...
Anticipating the draft London Plan, to be published by the mayor tomorrow, Judith Salomon, director of property and planning for London First, said:

'We welcome the commitment to maintain and enhance London's status as a global city. Creating the conditions for London's growth sectors to succeed is essential to generating the jobs needed to match its increasing population.

'What business wants to see now is action. The principle of accommodating forecast economic and population growth in London is right, but we question how it will happen in practice.

'Investment in new and existing transport infrastructure is critical to delivering growth and increased density of development, especially in the Thames Gateway, which will be identified as the major opportunity area. In effect this means building Crossrail, which requires government commitment and funding, and the three new Thames Gateway river crossings which are essential for regeneration but have varying priority with the London Development Agency, Transport For London and the Greater London Authority.

'The draft Plan rightly focuses on increasing housing supply in London but we question the approach being taken. The first priority must be to increase the total amount of new housing. So long as new house building fails to match population and household growth, prices will go on increasing and it will be even more difficult for all Londoners on moderate incomes to find a home they can afford. We are extremely concerned that by insisting that 50% of all new housing must be 'affordable' the mayor will actually make the problem worse. A requirement for 50% housing to be affordable will simply add to the cost of new housing development and so reduce total supply - unless there is a corresponding increase in grant from the Housing Corporation, on which there is no agreement '.

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