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Mayor launches small homebuilders programme with Transport for London

The mayor of London has brought forward a pilot programme, opening-up ten of Transport for London’s small sites to housing development.

Currently, housebuilding in the capital tends to be dominated by a handful of larger players while the number of small builders delivering fewer than 100 homes has halved over the last ten years. The programme has the dual aim of increasing the supply of ‘genuinely’ affordable homes and unlocking house construction for more of London’s small and medium-sized builders.

In total, more than 111 homes will be built across the 10 sites of which 68% will be affordable. Two of the locations - at Cable Street close to Shadwell DLR in Tower Hamlets and Christchurch Street in Lambeth - will be earmarked for community-led developments, delivering 100% affordable homes.

Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, said: “For far too long, London's housing market has been over-reliant on large developers building the majority of our homes on large brownfield sites. The number of small sites coming forward has halved in the last decade, and we have lost almost a third of all small and medium-sized homebuilders operating in the capital. Through my new small sites programme, I want to make more public land available to help contribute not only to tackling the housing crisis in London, but also to reinvigorating our small and medium-sized homebuilding sector. I also want to provide more opportunities for community land trusts, which is why I have earmarked two sites specifically for community-led housing."

Commenting on the programme, Julian Francis, director of policy and public affairs at the Association for Consultancy and Engineering (ACE), said: “We’re delighted to see the mayor and Transport for London taking a lead in this area. Our response to the mayor’s housing consultation highlighted the huge opportunity for SMEs to build homes on land owned by public sector bodies. This pilot, if successful, will be the first step to realising this currently untapped potential.”

Graeme Craig, director of commercial development at Transport for London, said: “As one of the biggest landowners in London we’re in an ideal position to help provide the homes that London desperately needs, deliver genuinely affordable homes and generate revenue to reinvest in the transport network. We’re excited to be working with the Mayor to make our smaller sites available to small and medium-size developers, housing associations and community-led organisations and these ten, at locations across London, are the first of a number of small sites that we’ll be bringing to market.”

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