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Public land to provide more homes in London

Published date : 2 November 2011

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, announced today that around 3,500 new homes will be built on public land that has been unlocked for development across London.
The Mayor, who is on track to deliver a record 50,000 affordable homes by spring 2012, is accelerating the release of Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) owned plots of land as part of a commitment to help get more homes built for Londoners and support the capital's economy.
Along with local councils, housing associations and developers, the Mayor and the HCA are working to bring forward a number of publicly-owned sites - including four former hospital sites - which are highly suited to housing development and will act as a catalyst for wider community regeneration schemes.
At yesterday's meeting of the HCA London Board, the latest release of land, 8.1 hectares on the Lymington Fields site in Dagenham, was confirmed. The site was formerly home to a further education college until its demolition in the 1980s.
Countryside Properties and Metropolitan Housing Trust are already delivering 193 mixed tenure homes on the site. Developers on the HCA’s Delivery Partner Panel will now be invited to submit proposals for high-quality homes in a further phase of development.
Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, said:

“At a time of tough financial belt tightening and a need for more affordable homes, releasing these sites for development boosts housing supply and provides a welcome shot in the arm for jobs and the capital's economy.
“Crucially we must work closely with boroughs to ensure that we develop these schemes in such a way that complements their broader regeneration plans, as well as involving local people in shaping the delivery of the homes and communities they want.”

Jackie Jacob, HCA London Director, said:

“By taking forward these sites that will create around 3,500 new homes using the Delivery Partner Panel, we control the disposal of our land to ensure that London-wide and local housing priorities are met.

"The Panel also means that, working in partnership with local authorities, we are able to establish design, sustainability and quality standards for new developments and influence the community engagement process with the aim of creating places of the highest quality that integrate with the surrounding area.”

The Localism Bill will transfer the functions of HCA London to the GLA from April 2012. 

Since the beginning of this year, the London Board of the HCA has agreed developments on six other public land sites, including:

  • Trenchard House, Soho – Barratt London has been selected to transform the former Metropolitan Police building in Broadwick Street, with the intention of bringing 78 new homes to market, of which 65 will be affordable, subject to planning
  • Blackwall Reach – The HCA and Tower Hamlets Council are working with Swan & Countryside Properties to deliver the comprehensive regeneration of this 8.5 hectare site in East London, which, subject to planning, will feature more than 1,600 mixed-tenure homes, around 700 of which will be affordable and more than 250 of which will be family sized.
  • Heart of East Greenwich - Developers Hadley Mace will work with the HCA, Greenwich Council and NHS Greenwich, to transform the former Greenwich District Hospital site into a modern complex with 645 high-quality homes, almost a third of which will be family sized.
  • Cane Hill – Developers are now being invited to submit proposals for the regeneration of this 82 hectare former hospital site in Croydon. A developer selection process is underway and the scheme is expected to deliver around 650 eco-friendly, mixed tenure homes, subject to planning.
  • St Clements & Queen Elizabeth – These former hospital sites, both in Tower Hamlets, have capacity for up to 450 homes, subject to planning. Both are expected to have preferred development partners approved at the HCA’s London Board meeting in December.

These sites above fit into the Mayor’s wider aim of developing housing on public land. Other key schemes where housing is being improved, developed or brought forward for development include: The Royal Docks, the North Circular in Enfield and St Andrew’s Hospital site in Bow.

HCA London is scheduled to become part of the GLA’s new Housing and Land Unit in April 2012, along with staff from the London Development Agency and the GLA’s existing housing team. The Mayor is chair of the HCA London Board. The transfer will build on the HCA’s approach to supporting London boroughs achieve their housing and regeneration ambitions and also mean better strategic coordination between investment and other Mayoral responsibilities such as planning and transport. The Unit will work with the boroughs and investment partners to deliver affordable homes across London, improve existing stock and promote good design and sustainability.  
» Read about the North Circular development  

» Find out more about St Andrews in Bow  

» Visit the Royal Docks website

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