How will Croydon react to Sadiq Khan’s new planning guidance on developers and affordable housing?

London Mayor Sadiq Khan has issued new planning guidance on affordable housing calling on every Council in London to make developers publically publish their plans for affordable housing.

Campaign group 38 Degrees says that ‘Greedy developers …. Croydon can shirk their responsibility to build affordable housing by using a legal loophole to say they won’t make enough money. [1] What’s worse is that the maths they use to work out their profit is kept secret. Even councillors don’t see it. So developers can play all sorts of tricks to wriggle out of their duty. [2]’

‘By not building affordable housing, developers are making it nearly impossible for young people and families to get onto the housing ladder. [5] Applications for new housing developments come in all the time. The longer this continues, the further out of reach this once simple desire is becoming for many people in the UK.

Sadiq Khan’s advice is already putting pressure on councils across London, but it’s only a guide, not the law. Each council must decide whether or not to take this tougher stance on developers on board.’

Please sign 38 Degrees petition to convince Councils to force developers to be transparent. Please sign here:

SIGN THE PETITION

As well as signing the petition I have asked the Programme Officer to the Local Plan Examination Inspector whether this document will require the Council to consider suggesting modifications.

Notes provided by 38 Degrees:

[1] Current government policy states in law that developers can expect to make “competitive returns” on housing they build. This is often understood by councils and developers to be about 20% profit. That means that if a developer would make 19% profit on a development that included affordable housing, the developer doesn’t have to build any affordable houses. But because of competition laws these reports can be made secret meaning developers can hide their sums. You can read the actual policy here:
Gov.uk: Viability – a general overview. What does the National Planning Policy Framework expect on viability in planning?:

https://www.gov.uk/guidance/viability

And here’s some analysis of it in plain English by housing charity Shelter:
Shelter policy blog: Developers cannot be allowed to keep breaking their promises on affordable housing:

http://blog.shelter.org.uk/2017/06/developers-cannot-be-allowed-to-keep-breaking-their-promises-on-affordable-housing/

There are even companies who make money by advising developers on how to avoid building affordable housing, you can see one here:

http://www.section-106.co.uk/

[2] The Guardian: Revealed: how developers exploit flawed planning system to minimise affordable housing:

https://www.theguardian.com/cities/2015/jun/25/london-developers-viability-planning-affordable-social-housing-regeneration-oliver-wainwright

[3] You can read Sadiq Khan’s plan here:
Mayor of London: Homes for Londoners: Affordable Housing and Viability Supplementary Planning Guidance 2016:

https://www.london.gov.uk/sites/default/files/ah_viability_spg_201708152.pdf

[4] The Bristol Cable: Councillors strike a blow for transparency regarding housing crisis:

https://thebristolcable.org/2016/12/councillors-strike-a-blow-for-transparency-regarding-housing-crisis

[5] City AM: Bank of mum and dad set to dry up as a third of parents live in rented homes:

http://www.cityam.com/270231/bank-mum-and-dad-set-dry-up-third-parents-live-rented-homes

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About seancreighton1947

Since moving to Norbury in July 2011 I have been active on local economy issues with Croydon TUC and Croydon Assembly, and am a member of the latter's Environment Forum. I am a member of the 5 Norbury Residents Associations Joint Planning Committee, and a Governor of Norbury Manor Primary School. I write for Croydon Citizen at http://thecroydoncitizen.com. I co-ordinate the Samuel Coleridge-Taylor and Croydon Radical History Networks and advise the North East People's History Project.. I give history talks and lead history walks. I retired in 2012 having worked in the community/voluntary sector and on heritage projects. My history interests include labour movement, mutuality, Black British, slavery & abolition, Edwardian roller skating and the social and political use of music and song. I have a particular interest in the histories of Battersea and Wandsworth, Croydon and Lambeth. I have a publishing imprint History & Social Action Publications.
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