Leader asks Government to “think again” after deeming house-building plans as “flawed and unrealistic”

Published: Monday, 13 November 2017

The leader of Havering Council, Councillor Roger Ramsey has spoken out against the latest housing targets proposed in the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) consultation paper, ‘Planning for the right homes in the right places’.

In its proposal, DCLG has set Havering a target of delivering 1,821 new homes each year between 2021-2026 with further updated targets produced after that. This is against a backdrop of the current London Plan target of 1,170 new homes per year and the current housing needs assessment prepared for Havering’s draft Local Plan, which shows a need for 1,366 new homes per year. In the draft Local Plan a target of 1,170 per year is proposed on the basis of land availability.

"The Government’s paper identifies an annual housing need target of a third more than what has been determined as part of our draft Local Plan. Not to mention, our figures were deemed appropriate by the Mayor of London’s planners less than a few weeks ago. The paper also fails to recognise the challenges we face in meeting current housing targets.” said Cllr Ramsey.

"More than half of Havering is Green Belt, and to suggest such a significant increase to our housing targets shows that the Government’s methodology is flawed and unrealistic, and could put large swathes of the borough’s green space in danger,” added Cllr Ramsey.

Cllr Ramsey continued and said, “there needs to be a more holistic approach to address the housing crisis across London. We want to provide high-quality places where people will want to live in communities that have the right infrastructure, such as for travel, health and education. The Government’s figures more than double the annual housing target in the current London Plan (from 20,084 each year to 43,039 each year) and would make this very difficult to deliver.

"We have submitted our formal feedback on the proposals as part of the DCLG consultation and have asked the government to think again about making the targets more practical and realistic.”