Milton to slash affordable housing targets

Simon_milton Sir Simon Milton, Boris’ new senior planning advisor, has said he may cut affordable housing targets significantly, while also imtimating that it will be harder to build tall in future.

Talking to Property Week, he said that developers would be allowed to provide lower proportions of affordable housing in central London.

He said it was part of the new Mayor’s affordable housing strategy to promote development by avoiding quotas such as the 50% target set by the former Mayor.

‘The 50% was a Londonwide aspiration,’ said Milton. ‘If you look at what has been achieved, the highest is 34% across London. ‘If you have larger sites, you have more room,’ Milton said. ‘I am keen to make sure that all boroughs play their part and do what they can to meet the mayor’s targets.’

The affordable housing change will be part of an overhaul of the capital’s development strategy, the London Plan, which Milton said was ‘reaching the end of its useful life’. Next month the Mayor’s office will bring out a direction of travel document, which will set out Johnson’s ideas on how the London Plan should be changed.

A significant element of any change to the London Plan will be to determine a new strategy for tall buildings in London. He said that while they would probably be very happy to see very tall buildings where there are existing clusters. They would be changing the guidelines for stand-alone buildings.

He said that rather than outstanding architecture being the main determinant, developers of new standalone tall buildings will have to justify the building in context of the surroundings.

This could obviously affect developments like Glenkerrin’s Arcadia site at Ealing Broadway, where planning consent has not been given. They will be able to reduce the number of affordable usints int e resi element of the scheme, but may not be able to build as high as they would like.

Other schemes that have already received planning approval may choose to resubmit with a lower proportion of affordable housing, as it is understood Helical Bar plan to with their King Street site in Hammersmith.

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