London Local Plan Watch - Autumn 2023
In 2022, the Mayor achieved record-breaking affordable housing delivery but has since warned of the consequences of a slowdown in the context of the current economy and onerous building requirements. Housing experts are forecasting a major drop in housebuilding, driven by high interest rates and building cost inflation, and City Hall’s data is beginning to see these trends taking hold amongst developers.
However, following a busy summer of consultations for emerging Local Plans, we are starting to see a number of Boroughs make progression, especially those with significantly out-of-date plans.
Approximately half of all London Boroughs have Local Plans that were adopted in the last five years, although not all of them can demonstrate a Five-Year Housing Land Supply. Those shown in red on the accompanying graphic are early in the process of preparing new plans and may have opportunities for site submissions.
It appears that the sheer volume of housing required by the London Plan is having a profound impact on housing land supply figures, and the constraint of the Green Belt and the lack of larger scale strategic opportunities in the capital is impacting the ability to meet supply requirements. Local Planning Authorities are being forced to apply additional stages of public and internal engagement to meet the requirements ahead of submission.
A number of London Boroughs on the rural fringes are beginning to progress Local Plans past Regulation 18 Stage with the London Plan Housing Numbers driving Council’s to deliver targets. However, the Mayor is calling for a series of short and long term funding boosts for London’s affordable housing delivery to maintain the agreed figures with Government.
Five Year Land Supply
With many boroughs progressing their local plans over the summer and following a number of appeal decisions, there is an overall increase in the number of boroughs that are unable to demonstrate a Five-Year Housing Land Supply. However, a number of recent appeal decisions have updated the published position of local authorities. In addition, the housing supply margins between boroughs are growing resulting in continued additional opportunities for the promotion of major development on un-allocated sites throughout Greater London.
Bromley, Enfield, Greenwich, Kingston upon Thames, Newham and Redbridge remain at the lower end of the scale with considerable under supply and with out-of-date local plans.
It is also worth noting Boroughs that can demonstrate just below or above the required level of five-years of supply, as this is subject to change over time and could be tested via application or appeal. These include Bexley, Islington, Lewisham and Lambeth.
For detail on emerging Local Plan position in London please click on the map below.